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"In a middle school full of bullies, insane teachers, and gross school lunches, Ned Bigby—that's me—and my two best friends try to do the impossible: create a guide to help you survive school."

Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide is a Nickelodeon Kid Com created by The Fairly OddParents! writer Scott Fellows that ran from September 2004 to June 2007. In stark contrast with other live-action Nickelodeon offerings at the time, it reveled in quick-paced, postmodern absurdist humor, featuring No Fourth Wall, no Laugh Track, and restricting every plot (sans the Grand Finale and one late-series segment dealing with parties) to the halls of (or, in one case, the morning journey to) James K. Polk Middle School.

Ned Bigby (Devon Werkheiser) is the clever but Book Dumb protagonist who is dedicated to completing an all-encompassing guide "to help you survive school," covering every issue from tests and dodgeball to puberty and relationships. Reflecting its creator's animation roots, the sitcom is one of the rare live-action productions to utilize a Two Shorts format; every 11-minute story serves as a "Survival Guide to: [name of topic/subject]", wherein Ned and his two best friends, Gadgeteer Genius Simon "Cookie" Nelson-Cook (Daniel Curtis Lee) and tomboy Jennifer "Moze" Mosely (Lindsey Shaw), each have their own storyline that requires his advice on the subject.

That aforementioned advice comes Once an Episode: when the moment for giving tips comes, the theme music starts, Ned turns to the audience, and begins speaking in an almost Edutainment Show manner with the simple phrase "If you're [someone] who's confused about [something], check out these tips." Despite customary Genre Blindness and Moze usually being the voice of reason, Ned seems permanently aware of the Fourth Wall, with other characters occasionally acknowledging it themselves, to their own minor shock and surprise. In solving their respective dilemmas, Cookie tries outlandish theories, Moze attempts to find a straightforward and pragmatic solution, and Ned usually applies scientific rigor.

Originally, the primary emphasis was delivering the tips and focusing on school matters such as homework, lockers, and school clubs. Later on, as the characters progressed through seventh and eighth grade, the stories expanded to focus on the complex relationships between the maturing characters, and the tips followed suit by now exploring on how to deal with the various social situations one will find themselves in adolescence. Along for the ride is a cast of quirky students and teachers who will always ensure that Hilarity Ensues.

The show ran for 54 episode over three seasons, and ended with the hour-long episode "Field Trips, Permission Slips, Signs & Weasels". According to Devon Werkheiser, there were plans for a sequel series that would follow the characters throughout high school, with a pilot for the potential continuation filmed in 2008, but Nickelodeon declined. However, Fellows would later go on to create two other Nickelodeon live-action series — Big Time Rush and 100 Things to Do Before High School — as well as the cartoons Johnny Test and Supernoobs.

Guide to: Tropes.

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  • Abhorrent Admirer:
    • Missy. She's pretty, but totally nuts, prompting Ned to avoid her with his life.
    • Doris and the Huge Crew. They are obsessed with Ned and even bullied people into voting for him in the class elections.
    • Lisa to Cookie in the first two seasons, before her makeover in season 3.
    • Evelyn was also this to Cookie, but it wasn't so much that she was ugly in so much as she was intense. She later gets over him when she goes out with Seth.
  • Absurdly Powerful Student Council: Yearbook edition. Moze realizes there is not enough money to publish a nice yearbook, so on her own it seemed, contacted a cell phone company CVC Global Net first to sponsor the yearbook. Then she sold them the rights to have the mascot to make more money for the yearbook. Finally, she sold them the rights to rename the school to CVC Global Net Middle School.
  • Academic Alpha Bitch:
    • Evelyn takes being the top student at Polk very seriously, to the extent that she'll physically injure you to get ahead.
    • Lance Widget, a nerdy bully who never hesitates to insult the people he tutors.
    • The Killer Bees are talented at spelling and enjoy using their skills to make others feel inferior. They repeatedly mock people while also showing off their spelling prowess. Even Loomer is scared of them.
    • Bitsy, the Alpha Bitch of season 1, clearly wanted to be this trope, as she is seen copying answers from Moze to get straight As.
  • Academic Athlete: Moze is captain of the volleyball team, holds many school athletic records, has a place in history as the school's first female wrestler, and is also a straight-A student.
  • Accidental Art:
    • Happens to Cookie in "Recycling", when he ties his milk bottle together to prevent them from being stolen. He sets them down in a pile on a table, and Mr. Wright thinks it's modern art.
    Mr. Wright: It's pure. It's honest. It's fearless!
    Cookie: It's a pile of bottles.
    Mr. Wright: "A Pile of Bottles". A title that says "It is what it is." A deconstructionist thrill ride with a splash of Dada!
    Cookie: You need to get out more.
    • It happened in a different way the second time. Ned paints an orange naked lady by mistake ("It's just squiggles!"),note  and is so successful that he almost pays off the school's debt. He tries to invoke this again, but it doesn't work (it comes off as a firetruck) and he gets slapped again.
    Evelyn: That's the worst fire truck I've ever seen!
  • Accidental Hero: Loomer becomes one in the end of "Spirit Week", when he unintentionally catches the Spirit Stick after Cookie drops it. It's to the point that he is made Spirit King for the sake of saving the stick.
  • Accidental Kiss: Running Gag between Ned and Moze. Also how we learn Evelyn is interested in Cookie.
  • Accidental Public Confession: In one episode, Lisa is caught vandalizing obsolete equipment to get replacements that work. Vice-principal Crubbs lets her off with a warning while talking about how they can't let the other teachers know that smashing their equipment will get it replaced. Then he realizes his hand is on the PA button (a Running Gag for that particular short), and they hear smashing sounds throughout the school.
  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: Averted by Moze in "Guide to: Popularity". When she ends up as one of Polk's top ten most popular people, she's first thrilled, but after hanging out with the popular group for lunch, she really wants to hang out with her original friends and tries to get out of being popular since she finds the popular people really annoying.
  • A Dog Ate My Homework: In "Excuses", Ned comments that saying a dog ate your homework is a bad excuse... right before a dog actually eats his homework. The rest of the episode has him trying to find the dog and convince his teacher Mr. Sweeney that he wasn't lying.
  • Age-Inappropriate Art: "Art Class" had Ned accidentally paint an orange naked lady.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: The large school air-vents are used for sneaking around in several episodes.
  • All-Cheering All the Time: Missy and her fellow cheerleaders do this in "Pep Rallies". This is lampshaded by Coach Dirga:
    Dirga: And stop it with the rhyming. It's getting annoying.
  • All-Ghouls School: Polk becomes one in the second half of the Halloween Episode where Ned is a vampire, Cookie is a werewolf and Moze is a ghost.
  • Almighty Janitor: Gordy. As incompetent as he is, he tends to get a lot accomplished when he works with Ned and company.
  • Alpha Bitch: Bitsy. Missy took her place after she disappeared. Both were catty, mean, and popular enough to get away with it.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Eighth graders in the first two seasons seem to do little more than beat people up with little to no provocation. In "Guide to: Detention" one was even referred to as a psycho.
  • Always Identical Twins: The Oboe twins. Always dressed the same and talked at the same time. Behavior aspects were deconstructed in "Guide to: Shyness".
  • Amateur Film-Making Plot: In "Video Projects", the characters have to make a video project, either in a group or individually. While Moze attempts to interview Mr. Wright and finds him being concerned with looking "cool" for the camera, Ned and Cookie argue over whether to make a ninja or sci-fi movie. Moze and Mr. Wright eventually come to a compromise that makes him look both respectable and cool, and Ned and Cookie create a movie about a ninja IN SPACE!, incorporating Martin Qwerly's embarrassing imaginary-fight footage to make him the star character.
  • Ambulance Chaser: Claire Sawyer, future lawyer, works with her fellow middle schoolers and will work up lawsuits on anyone someone asks her to, no matter how ridiculous the case is.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Mr. Monroe, which isn't helped by the fact that he's played by openly gay actor Jim J. Bullock.
  • Animal Nemesis: Gordy vs. the Weasel; the madness has spread by the Grand Finale to the point where most of the school staff joins the hunt, which culminates in practically tearing the school down.
  • Anti-Interference Lock Up: In "Principals", Vice Principal Crubbs is so determined to become the school's new principal that when other applicants show up, he tricks them all into getting locked in a tiny, inescapable courtyard area. Over the course of the episode, more characters get trapped there even without Crubbs' scheming, but they get saved by Mr. Wright, who ends up being the one promoted.
  • Annoying Laugh: The girl whose dad owned a video arcade in "Girls". So annoying that Ned couldn't stand to be around her.
  • Anti-Mentor:
    • In "Shyness", Cookie decides to teach a bunch of shy students how to have "Cookie Confidence." He makes them to a lot of insane things he himself did, like slam-dunk a basket ball using a gigantic overpowered trampoline, use a mop-bucket slingshot, and dig tunnels through the school. Eventually, his student get fed up and turn against him when he tries to make the fight a psychopath, ironically displaying the very confidence he'd worked to teach them in telling him off.
    • "Tutors" has Ned dealing with multiple bad tutors: a loudmouthed Nerdy Bully, a Motor Mouth who can't stay focused, and a Jerk Jock willing to just give Ned the answer for a date with Moze. Eventually, Mr. Sweeney is the one to tutor Ned once Ned expressed his problems. Meanwhile, Moze herself was mentoring a class of fifth graders. Despite being a good teacher, she failed to teach them anything because they were all attracted to her. She could only get them to learn by making herself hideously ugly.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: In the episode "Rumors", Mr. Sweeney locks himself in the faculty bathroom in order to sabotage the attempt to flush every toilet in the school at once to see if the "atomic flush" is real. When Gordy tries to get him to flush it anyway, Sweeney says that even if he did, nothing would happen because it's just a rumor.
    Gordy: Is it? I wonder. I think a real scientist would wonder too!
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
    • The following:
      Ned: In a middle school full of bullies, insane teachers and gross school lunches...
    • Granted, in one episode, Ned's lunch crawls off his plate (which was the clip used in the Season 1 intro), but this isn't a common occurrence.
  • The Artifact:
    • Ironically, the titular Guide itself. With the second season the focus on the show shifted more to the relationships of the characters instead of "Helpful Guides" for fellow middle school students. The actual guide was seen and updated as the tips were added, while it was rarely seen later on. Seemingly Lampshaded in "Boys", where Ned is so hung about Suzie moving away that he gets tips writing block.
    • Cookie's glasses as well. Originally, Cookie was supposed to be a cyborg, with quite a few early episodes even referring to him as such. However, as time went on, this aspect of his character was dropped, and his glasses (with what appears to be a full working operating system installed in them) were the only remnant of this.
  • As Himself:
    • Mat Hoffman, a BMX biker, in two episodes.
    • Sportscasters Willie Gault and Van Earl Wright as commentators in various events not necessarily sports related.
    • Carmelo Anthony in "Lost and Found".
  • Ash Face: Happens to Moze and Suzie when they cause a chemistry explosion in the "School Clubs".
  • Asian and Nerdy: Evelyn. But the trope is played with since she is also scarily insane.
  • Aside Glance: Many instances of this, but one particularly notable instance is in "Extra Credit", when, after noting that model volcanoes have been on "every TV show ever", Ned, Moze, and Cookie give a long glance toward the camera.
  • Asleep in Class:
    • It's implied that this happens to Ned.
      Ned: (talking about how freaked out he is about detention) I can't eat, I can't sleep...
      Moze: You can't sleep?
      Ned: I've been awake in every class!
    • Teacher version with elderly Mrs. Knapp in "Social Studies". Eventually, she is told she had to retire and was thrilled.
    • Lampshaded in "Music Class" when the students in Moze's Music Appreciation class are in pajamas and have pillows on their desks.
      Mr. Combover: I'm getting the feeling that you all think this class is bedtime with a soundtrack.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign:
  • Ass-Kicking Pose: Played With, and then hung a lampshade on their playing with it, when Ned and Cookie had a falling-out in "Best Friends". They imitated every cliche Ass Kicking Pose possible, then made up before throwing any actual blows. The Combat Commentators left in disgust.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Most of Cookie's inventions.
  • Badly Battered Babysitter: Moze, and later Ned and Cookie, in "Money", thanks to the brats they have to look after.
  • Banana Peel: Invoked by Ned and Cookie in "School Plays" when they throw banana peels in front of Spencer so that he would slip on them and get injured. But the trope is then defied by Moze, who has a leaf blower handy and blasts the banana peels away smack into Ned and Cookie's faces.
  • Bandage Mummy: Happens to Moze by the end of "Embarrassment" after all her attempts to avoid being embarrassed in front of her crush.
  • Bag of Holding:
    • Backpack Boy's backpack.
    • The backpack Ned gets to replace his old one in "Backpacks" had an electric fan, confetti guns and a birthday cake, a fully functioning microwave, and a game system with monitor in his backpack. Ned admitted it was heavy and he couldn't feel his legs, but he liked it.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comparison: Loomer and his gang's reaction in "Dodgeball" when they had to play against Ned and Moze in dodgeball.
    Loomer: Big deal. There's only two left and one of them is a girl.
    Crony: Yeah, and the other one is Mosely!
  • Bathroom Stall Graffiti: The "Hottie List".
  • Batman Gambit:
    • A minor version in "Notebooks". Mr. Sweeney reminds Ned of an upcoming test that he has to pass and shows him the best notebook created for his class in a glass case. Ned steals it, and is caught trying to replace it. Mr. Sweeney told Ned that he made the notebook himself and showed it to Ned so that he would steal it to do better on his test, knowing that if he gave it to Ned, Ned wouldn't have studied it so much.
    • Moze does one in "The First Day". She wants to take an elective that's different from what Ned and Cookie are taking, so she deliberately chose a different elective, cooking, but when Ned and Cookie find out and attempt to enroll in cooking as well, she decides she's going to switch electives again. Ned and Cookie see her walking out of the woodshop classroom later that day, and they go over to enroll in woodshop as well. Moze later reveals that she knew they would be spying on her, so she deliberately walked to woodshop because she knew that if they thought they had caught her enrolling in woodshop, they would enroll in it, too, and, as long as she didn't let them find out before the 2:00 pm deadline to change electives, they would be guaranteed to not be in the same elective as her. When Ned and Cookie find out, Cookie desperately tries to hack into the school's system to switch Ned and Cookie's elective to Life Science, but in the process, accidentally kick Moze out of Life Science and into woodshop.
    • In "Art Class", the art class is running out of money and may have to end after a failed student art auction. After Ned's painting is interpreted as a naked lady, he gets into trouble with the principal. However, Dr. Wright, the principal uses this to create a sensational news story to draw attention to the school's art program and Ned's painting is bought by a rich art lover, who insists all of the money goes to the art program.
  • Batty Lip Burbling: Ned Bigby does this in the episode Cheaters / Bullies.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: In "Guide to: School Websites" Moze entrusts Scoop to make a cool pop-up ad to get more people to come to her volleyball team's games. Unfortunately, she didn't specify she didn't mean by any means necessary so Scoop photoshops hers and Chandra's faces onto two professional volleyball players' bodies and markets them as volleybabes. The game sells out, but Moze is not happy when she learns it's only because desperate guys who wanted to leer at them bought the tickets, and to make matters worse the volleyball team blames her for this and bombards her with volleyballs.
  • Beautiful All Along: Lisa Zemo.
  • Betty and Veronica:
    • Suzie is the Veronica (the unattainable popular girl and Lovable Alpha Bitch) to Moze's Betty (Ned's longtime friend and Girl Next Door) for Ned's Archie.
    • Gender inverted with the Ned/Moze/Fayman love triangle with Ned being the Betty to Faymen's Veronica to Moze's Archie.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Inverted with Mr. Sweeney in "Gross Biology Dissections". After his frogs are stolen, he goes into his usual angry mode to scare Ned, Cookie, and Gordy into giving them back. When that doesn't work, he does "something different": politely asking them, which has this effect:
    Ned: Wow. Nice Sweeney is scarier than regular Sweeney.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Between Ned and Moze in the Grand Finale when they decide to become a couple.
  • Big Eater: One-Bite, who got his nickname from being able to devour pretty much any food in one bite. When he takes a bite of Ned's sandwich, he leaves a small scrap left, because that was just a tiny bite according to him. He spent the remainder of the episode prowling the cafeteria stealing everybody's lunch.
  • Big "NO!":
    • Lampshaded.
      Ned: "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO—(to the camera) This may take a while.—OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO."
    • He continues this scream even when he's out of the classroom and in front of Moze's locker until she stuffs a sock into his mouth.
    • Then there's "Bad Habits" where they're all trying to break theirs. Ned finally learns to say no to people, and unfortunately unintentionally denies a chance to go on a study date with Suzie. After being informed of this, he does the standard "drop to knees Skyward Scream" version.
    • Cookie gets one in "Study Hall" when his first plan to leave study hall to meet with a girl fails. This "NOOOO!" comes close to a Skyward Scream but is aborted when he gets a new idea. Cue the Big "YES!".
  • Bigger on the Inside:
    • The lockers. For instance, when Ned opens his locker in "Getting Organized", a whole pile of stuff that could not have possibly fit into a normal locker falls out. In "Vice-Principals", Crubbs pulls out a lot of things from Loomer's locker, including Coconut Head. And, in "Class Clowns," Ned, Cookie and Gordy emerged from a single locker when they caught Maurice Adams cracking a joke.
    • Also, Backpack Boy has a whole room of backpacks in his locker. Ned lampshades this.
      Ned: Does the school know about this?
      Backpack Boy: No. And neither do you.
  • Bishie Sparkle: Played With in "Girls." Ned expects this to happen when he meets his perfect girl, and then he sees it happen around Moze. The first two times were because of coincidences (because Gordy was repairing a broken light nearby), but it's implied that the third time was the real deal.
    Ned: And I'll know when I see her, because golden light will hit her just right, and the angels will sing!
    Moze: Oh, please. *is suddenly enshrouded with golden light while Ned looks on in confusion*'
  • Bizarro Episode: The episode "Vampires, Ghosts, Werewolves and Zombies" where Ned dreams about him in an All-Ghouls School where Ned is a vampire, Cookie is a werewolf and Moze is a ghost.
  • Black and Nerdy:
    • Cookie, who loves math, technology, and science, all while being at the bottom of the school social ladder.
    • Backpack Boy, to a lesser extent, being a nerd who gets good grades and is Crazy-Prepared.
  • "Blackmail" Is Such an Ugly Word:
    • Used by Crony in "Recycling" after Moze accuses them of stealing her recyclables for the contest to win a bike:
      Moze: Are you guys stealing my stuff?
      Crony: Stealing is such an ugly word. We prefer to think of it as recycling recycled recyclables!
    • Subverted in "Buses." Nearly late for school, Professor Xavier finds some roller blades in a driveway and takes them. Cookie asks her if that is stealing.
      Professor Xavier: In my country we call it a brachtenstun.
      Cookie: What does that mean?
      Xavier: Stealing,note  but I'll bring them back later.
  • Book Dumb: Ned.
  • Bottle Episode: Almost every single episode is this. The amount of episodes that have scenes set outside the school and the campus can be counted on one hand.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • Most of the segments where tips are given break the fourth wall, as they directly address the audience.
    • In "Girls," Ned reminds Moze after she finishes her tips to meeting girls to do one more thing: face the camera and explain to the viewers her tips while a boom box plays the theme.
    • In "Extra Credit," when Ned and Cookie are talking about Moze's extra credit volcano and Ned comments that it has been done on every TV show ever, they turn and give a long Aside Glance at the camera.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Ned, it's even commented on by the teachers that Ned is one of the most resourceful students in the school but just has no interest in grades.
  • Brick Joke: In "Detention," someone carries an ICBM Missile past Mr. Sweeney. Several episodes later, Gordy has an ICBM Missile in his closet.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: In "Halloween," Principal Pal literally scares the shit out of Vice Principal Crubbs, Ned, Moze and Cookie by pretending to be dead and "coming back to life" toward the end of the episode.
    Crubbs: I'm gonna need new underwear.
    Ned, Moze and Cookie: Me, too.
  • Broke Episode: "Money," where the trio need money to go to a concert.
    • Done similarly in "Fundraising" where Ned and Cookie try to pay for the school chocolate they ate instead of selling it, and their attempts to raise funds only cause disaster that they need to pay even more for.
  • Bubble Boy: Ned spends half of a day inside a plastic bubble to prevent himself from getting sick and being sent home before the last period, in which he'd get to meet Mat Hoffman. Unfortunately, he gets sent home anyway because the bubble heats up and the nurse takes the temperature of the bubble as Ned's body temperature.
  • Butt-Monkey: Coconut Head, Lisa Zemo (before her Beautiful All Along reveal), Martin Qwerly, and Backpack Boy, all suffering a disproportionate amount of misfortune and slapstick. Cookie and Ned as well, later on, as well as the Night Guy, who has to clean up Gordy's messes.
  • The Bully: Billy Loomer and his gang as well as the Huge Crew are the most prominent ones, but there are other minor bullies throughout the show.
  • The Cameo:
    • Cosmo and Wanda in "Daydreaming." Justified, as they're part of Ned's dream.
    • Also, Music/Everclear frontman Art Alexakis appears in the role of music teacher Mr.Gibson in "Music Class."
  • Cardboard Pal: The trio, along with other characters in the show, use cardboard cutouts of themselves to escape from situations like being stuck listening to Martin Qwerly or being forced to stay in the vice-principal's office for something they didn't do.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Cookie, who is convinced he's a popular ladies-man despite being a huge dork.
  • Cash Lure: Gordy plays this prank on Mr. Sweeney to cheer Ned up. It doesn't work.
  • Catchphrase:
  • Cathartic Chores: In "Spring Fever" , Moze goes overboard with spring cleaning, mostly as a way of getting her mind off of potentially falling for Ned. Eventually she does realize she can't clean her problems away.
  • Challenging the Bully: In "Your Body," Ned gets roped into a weightlifting contest against Loomer thanks to an attempt by Coach Dirga to defend him. Though he and everyone else believes he'll fail, Dirga teaches him the proper technique to lifting weights, and he ends up defeating Loomer in front of the entire school.
  • Characterization Marches On:
    • Missy was originally (in season 2) an Alpha Bitch who hated both Ned and Moze. In season 3 she becomes Ned's Stalker with a Crush, and then escalated even more into a dangerously obsessive Clingy Jealous Girl.
    • Cookie was originally Ned's nerdy best friend that more often than not got into trouble with him. In the final season of the show, Cookie would almost always have a plan to score with Lisa Zemo, a nerdy girl that turned out to be Beautiful All Along. He and Ned very rarely did anything together, and attempting to date Lisa became his only other character trait.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: In "Cheaters", Bitsy constantly keeps copying off of Moze's paper despite Moze's efforts to block her from looking. Eventually Moze comes up with the idea to just put the wrong answers on her test and take a failing grade to get Bitsy to stop. When Bitsy complains to Moze about it and announces she can always find someone else to cheat off of, the teacher who had given the tests happens to walk by and overhear her. Bitsy is taken to the principal's office and her name stripped from the honor roll board.
  • Chekhov's Gag:
    • In "Crushes," Cookie's computer identifies Lisa (back during her "ugly" days) as his perfect match. Cookie and Lisa get together in the grand finale.
    • Not to mention the number of times that Moze or Ned are mistaken to have done something to get the other one jealous.
    • In "School Newspaper," there's a running gag of ceiling tiles falling on people's heads. This becomes important later on, when it's revealed that the school paid for the repairs, but they were never done, leaving the money unaccounted for.
    • As a Running Gag in one episode, any time the main trio attempts to split up through the hallways, they immediately run into each other in the exact same spot somehow. This comes into play again in the Grand Finale, where they attempt split up (while being chased by three different mobs), only to end up in the same place, right where the art thieves they're trying to stop happen to be.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Ned slowly realizes Moze fits the profile of his perfect girl despite the fact he's "known her forever".
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome:
    • The Huge Crew are given this treatment. About halfway through season two, Doris begins appearing by herself more often with no sign of Kati and Lakisha. Doris herself makes no appearances in season three. Most fans assume that the trio was a year older and graduated after season two.
    • Bitsy from season one, Suzie's best friend Alpha Bitch. The next two seasons replace her with Missy.
    • Shandra Taylor, one of Moze's few female friends who disappears without a word before season two, and made just a few background appearances since then.
    • Mr. Monroe is a very odd case. He was listed in the opening credits in season one and appeared in every episode; he made only a few token appearances in season two, and vanished without a trace in season three. Then he came back in a late episode and was re-added to the opening credits, immediately replacing Gordy despite the fact that he'd been firmly established as one of the series tritagonists along with Cookie.
      • This is very glaring because Monroe was originally intended as the mentor figure for the protagonists; on the other hand, as his prominence decreased, the other teachers became more developed. A bit of Truth in Television; this happens all the time in large schools when teachers only teach grade-level subjects.
    • In a few first season episodes, Loomer is shown to have a larger gang consisting of about five or six members. It didn't take long for the gang to solely consist of Loomer, Crony and Buzz.
    • Mr. Gross was treated like he'd be a recurring teacher, but he only made two appearances in season 1, as his actor took on a new role, Mr. Combover.
    • The Killer Bees also seem to have completely disappeared after season one.
  • Circling Birdies: Happens frequently to characters following a head injury. At times, only the bird sound effects play, but other times animated birds and other objects circle the victims' heads. Recipients of the trope in the show include Ned, Loomer, Cookie and Faymen Phorchin.
  • Class Clown: Had a whole episode, "Class Clowns", about this, with the plot being that the up-to-this-point-unseen class clown character is leaving. As a Class Clown is needed to avoid the students falling into depression, they seek someone to replace them. Gordy reveals he was once a class clown when he was younger, and tries to help Ned take on this role since Ned was unable to do this by himself. Eventually, a Deadpan Snarker is picked to take their place, who was unwilling as he didn't want to get in trouble.
  • Classical Music Is Cool: After being in a music appreciation class that many use as an excuse to nap, Moze comes to appreciate Mozart's more bombastic and lively pieces when they help her in a volleyball game.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Missy.
  • Closet Shuffle: In "Vice Principals," the trio and a teacher try to catch the person destroying school property. They set up a sting with a supposedly broken DVD player and hide in the closer in the room. A person comes into the room and they jump out, only for it to be an innocent person, upon hearing the door opening, they all go back into the closet. This happens two more times until there are seven people in the closet.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Many characters, but Seth Powers in particular.
    "I swear I had my hall pass... but I think I ate it."
  • Clueless Aesop: "Class Clowns"; while it is true that being amusing can lighten the tension in a school environment, the episode encourages the viewer to clown around even if it results in getting in trouble.
  • Coincidental Accidental Disguise: In the Grand Finale, Ned accidentally ends up dressed like the Wild Boy seen in a painting.
  • Comedic Underwear Exposure: In the "Sick Days and Spelling Bees" episode, Ned advises Cookie that the best way to overcome his nerves and win the spelling bee is to picture the audience in their underwear. During the actual spelling bee, Ned realizes that Cookie is having a hard time doing this, so Ned stands up, pulls his own pants down, and stands in his boxer shorts to ease Cookie's nerves. As a sign of support for Cookie, all of the boys in the audience follow Ned's lead and do the same thing.
  • Company Cross References:
    • "Daydreams" has Ned seeing Cosmo and Wanda in his daydreams.
    • In "Photo Day", Ned gives the tip to "Dress up as yourself, not someone you see on TV". At that point, a student in a SpongeBob costume walks past him.
  • Compressed Vice:
    • Setting tables to collapse, "a Ned Bigby classic," seen only in the "Records." Ned is portrayed as a notorious troublemaker in the episode. While he has caused a bit of trouble, it rarely hurts anyone and it is nowhere near the level this episode would have you expect.
    • Everyone gets these in "Habits," with Ned being unable to say no, Moze being a trash-talker, and Cookie chewing his nails.
  • Confidence Building Scheme: In "Shyness and Nicknames", Cookie hosts a seminar to help other students overcome their shyness. Said meetings consist of him forcing the participants to take place in ridiculously dangerous or humiliating stunts. After enduring enough abuse, the students finally work up the courage to stand up for themselves and tell Cookie off, who delightedly proclaims that his project has been a success.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • In "Shyness," all the "makeover" outfits Cookie gives his seminar members are his own various costumes and disguises from past episodes.
    • In "Math," Ned tries to help a classmate, but wrongly answers that two negatives multiplied together make another negative. This ends up coming back to help him in "Positives and Negatives" in an unexpected way when he cheers up two Emo Teens by introducing them to each other.
  • Continuity Snarl: Mr. Sweeny claims in "Guide to: Records" he has never been wrong. However, he was wrong about the atomic flush being a myth in "Guide to: Rumors".
  • Coordinated Clothes: The Oboe twins. In "Shyness" Ned and Moze separated them to cure them of their shyness. Tracy, the girl Moze tried to help, is too reliant on her twin and dresses as everyone she hangs out with including Seth, Moze, Lisa, and even Ned.
  • Crash-Into Hello: Parodied in "Girls" when Ned enrolls in choir class... and meets "Simone."
    Simone (obviously Cookie in drag): Hi! I'm Simone.
    Ned: Hey. (Beat. Ned's face gradually changes from happy, to shock then absolute horror.) ...HEYYYYYYYYYY. WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!
    Simone: I'm going undercover to find out what Lisa really likes in a guy.
    Ned: (points to Simone's clothes) I don't think it's this!
  • Crazy-Prepared:
    • The premise is the title character collecting lots of info on every possible facet of school life. Some viewers have found that the tips really work. There is also Cookie, who combines this with Do-Anything Robot. There seems to be no end to all the weird (and completely useless) things he's made a helmet or pair of glasses for.
    • Moze, too, as evidenced by her ability to thwart all of Cookie's and Ned's plans to get Cookie to play Romeo by causing Spencer (the actual actor for Romeo) to be injured in "School Plays."
  • Credit Card Plot: In "Extra Credit," Cookie's subplot involves him running up a massive debt on his "emergency" card, buying everything from pizza to a pony from an instant-delivery company.
    Ned: Don't you know how a credit card works? You get a bill at the end of the month for all the stuff on it. How are you going to pay for that?
    • This eventually came back to bite him in the ass when he wound up stranded in the desert (It Makes Just As Much Sense In Context) and when he tried to use the card, found he was over his spending limit.
  • Crossdresser:
    • At different times, both Ned and Cookie dress up as girls. Cookie specifically employs Gender-Bender Friendship to learn what Lisa looks for in a guy. Both also have a bit of Attractive Bent-Gender, especially when Loomer falls for Cookie's alter-ego.
    • Moze dressed up as a boy in "Dismissal" to get into the boy's bathroom because it had no line. It didn't work as well as she hoped.
  • Dark Horse Victory: In "Spirit Week", Ned competes against Martin Qwerly for Spirit King to be Susie's date. In the end, neither of them wins, and instead the election goes to Loomer, who was in last place, for the selfless sake of unintentionally saving the Spirit Stick.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Ned was stumped for tips on dealing with girls, the best he could come up with is that they like shoes and they smell nice. When Moze harassed him with "Is that the best you can do?", he pulled out a boombox, turned on the theme music, pointed Moze's head to the camera and had her deliver the tips.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Moze.
  • Department of Redundancy Department:
    Ned: Being a rock star is great! Girls love rock stars, you get to be rich and famous...did I mention the girls?
  • Diegetic Visual Effects: In "Girls," Ned remarks that when he meets his perfect girl, a golden light will hit her and the angels will sing. Twice in the episode, a light shines on Moze and a chorus of angels sings. However, it's not an actual Bishie Sparkle — Gordy is just fixing up the lights while the choir practices in the hallway, as the lights in the chorus room broke. The third time this happens, however, Gordy fixed the lights and the choir is back in their room, suggesting it's actually in Ned's head that time.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • In one episode, Cookie tries to win a radio competition where the winner gets a car. Despite Moze outright telling him that he's ineligible due to being in middle school, the entire episode has him trying to get the phones he brought to call in back from Mr. Sweeney. He manages to and is the lucky caller, but, true to Moze's prediction, ends up not winning because the contest is for people 18 and up.
    • In another episode, both Ned and Moze are trying to claim a pair of sneakers autographed by NBA legend Carmelo Anthony from the lost-and-found. Ned eventually pushes Moze and himself through a door that leads to outside the building and can't be opened from the side they're in. Ned gloats that now all he has to do is keep Moze in this space until 3 o'clock, and he can claim the shoes for himself. Ned is pretty confident... right up until Moze points out that since Ned is out there with her, he can't claim the sneakers either.
    • In "Guide to: Records," Moze breaks the school record in shot put in the gym, breaking a window. Coach Derga regrets not doing it outside instead.
    • In "Guide to: Art Class" Moze takes up photography since she can't paint for her art class. The teacher complains everyone was clearly posing for the photos and he wanted natural shots. Moze takes this to mean take pictures of other students doing something embarrassing. The teacher loves it, but the students are less than happy when the pictures end up in the art show.
  • Disapproving Look:
    • Moze gives an "I'm disappointed in you" look to Ned and Cookie in "Vice Principals" to guilt them into proving Loomer's innocence. She follows them everywhere with that look until they finally cave.
    Ned: Fine! You win! But I'm doing it for the guide, not for Loomer.
    Cookie: Just stop the look. It burns!
    • She has a whole arsenal of these. In "Gross Biology Dissection," Moze gives Ned her "I can't believe you lied to your best friend" look after she found out he lied to her.
  • Disguised in Drag: Happens four times. In "Recycling", Ned dresses as a girl to check in the girls' bathroom. In "Girls". Cookie dresses up as a girl to find out what Lisa likes in boys. Unfortunately, he also gets hit on by another boy, though mainly for knowing about cars and engines. In "Dismissal", Moze dresses as a boy to get into the boy's bathroom. And in "Parties", Cookie dresses as a girl in order to get into a party, having been unknowingly banned after accidentally starting a fire during last year's party.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In "Guide to: Notebook" twenty kids form an angry mob against Suzie Crabgrass because they think she was making up false rumors about them, and Loomer even grabs a pitchfork from a gardener. Suzie lampshades how extreme that was even if she did write it.
    Suzie: And come on, a pitchfork? (gives the pitchfork back to the gardener)
  • The Ditz: Seth Powers.
  • Dodgeball Is Hell: But Moze is good enough to nearly single-handedly beat Loomer's team after coming back strong.
  • Dork Horse Candidate: Played With in the fact that Ned has to be forced to run and his attempts to not get elected backfire hilariously. They end up getting him a fair percentage of the votes. And yet, somehow, the weasel which is nominated every year as a joke ends up winning.
  • Double Standard: Lampshaded when Ned loses to Moze in martial arts:
    Gordy: You see, Ned, fighting a girl is a no-win situation.
    Ned: What do you mean?
    Gordy: Well, if you lose, *starts laughing* then you got beat up by a girl!
    Ned: But what if I win?
    Gordy: *sounds horrified* Then, you just beat up a girl!
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: While this example may not be as bad as in other Nickelodeon series, Moze's physical abuse of Ned and Cookie wouldn't be nearly as funny if their genders were switched.
  • Dramatic Unmask: Suzie does a self-unmasking in "Secrets." The boy is not who he seems to be.
  • Dramatic Wind:
    • The romantic kind is invoked in "Jealousy," when Ned and Moze hold each other lovingly with a fan blowing near them at the right angle to put this trope in effect to make Missy think they're dating.
      Missy: Okay, fine! The twenty-four hours are up and you guys are still together, so I guess I have to accept it and move on! And the fan was a nice touch, by the way!
    • Often lampshaded in many episodes.
  • Dream Episode: In "Daydreams," Sweeney traps everyone in his classroom until they can solve a riddle for him. Ned spends the time having a daydream about he and Moze being spies, fighting ninjas, and being aided by Cosmo and Wanda. At the end, his daydreaming actually allows him to solve the riddle, freeing his class.
  • Dumb Jock: Seth Powers is pretty ditzy, but otherwise a pretty good guy. In the finale, he's revealed to have become a bit smarter after dating Evelyn for a few months.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The first season had different camera work and lighting compared to seasons two and three. The actor who plays Mr. Lowe shows up as two unrelated characters, and several teachers disappear after this season.
  • Ear Worm: Moze falls asleep while listening to a CD of Mozart and can't get the music out of her head. She uses it to her advantage during a volleyball game to find a piece of music in her mind to match the circumstances.
  • Earpiece Conversation: Gordy and Ned use this in "Class Clowns." Gordy feeds Ned funny one-liners to establish Ned as the new class clown. Unfortunately, Gordy gets distracted by the weasel...
  • Eat the Evidence: In the Grand Finale, Ned forges a signature on Cookie's parent permission slip so he can go on the school field trip. But when Crubbs tries to compare it to the real signature of Cookie's mother, Cookie quickly eats the permission slip.
  • Eccentric Mentor: Principal Pal. He can't seem to grasp the fact that Moze is a girl and he acts a bit senile, but he is clearly very intelligent. He's basically a non-magical American version of Dumbledore.
  • Egg Sitting: Ned and Cookie have to take care of a baby doll for their Life Science class. In "Project Partners," Loomer steals the doll from Ned and Cookie, and threatens to send it back piece by piece if they don't do what he wants. Ned gleefully points out that they can just wait for Loomer to send all the pieces back, then put the doll together again. But their teacher moves the end of the project forward, before the doll's head is returned...
  • Elaborate University High: They seem to have a lot of free time for middle school kids, although the short episode lengths mean that today's action can easily take place within not much more than 10 minutes' worth of real time.
  • Election Day Episode: In "Elections," Ned ran for class president, albeit a bit against his will because he thought it was just a popularity contest. In the end, the school's resident runaway weasel is elected , but a number of Ned's friends win the "lesser" positions because they were running unopposed, and thus have the real power to enact some of Ned's campaign promises like more time outdoors.
  • Electric Love:
    • In the school dance episode, Ned accidentally kisses Moze because she wore the same dress as his crush Suzy. Over the course of the series, Moze can still feel the sparks from that kiss and tries to forget all about it. When she tries to kiss her crush Faymen, there were absolutely No Sparks. Upon the end of the series, with both Ned and Moze getting a Relationship Upgrade, they sealed the deal with a kiss that sends sparks that could light up a 4th of July fireworks display.
    • In "Positives and Negatives", Ned invoked this trope when tried to set up two emos with each other. However, in the room where Ned made the attempt, Gordy made the room cry dry in an attempt to build up static electricity, so when the two eventually kissed, it caused a literal explosion of electricity.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: The point of "Nicknames." Ned tries to shake off the "Wedgepicker" nickname, Moze doesn't like her nickname, and Loomer looks to Cookie to come up with better insulting nicknames for different students.
  • Embarrassment Plot: In the aptly-named "Embarrassment," Ned farts in class, sprays his pants with the water fountain, talks to Suzie with food in his teeth and his fly down, and then burps in class, all of which embarrass him. Meanwhile, Moze embarrasses herself around Faymen. In the end, Ned says that everybody does embarrassing things and Faymen admits to being embarrassed by his poor English.
  • Emo Teen: Mark Downer, who was so emo that flowers wilted in his presence.
  • Empathic Environment: In "Class Clowns," after the class clown moves, the school is beset with dark clouds and bad weather. The students also act sluggish and morose. After a new class clown emerges, the clouds part and the sun shines, and the students are happy.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Coconut Head and Backpack Boy. The names were there from the first episode and they never got anything else.
  • Everybody Hates Mathematics: Averted. While Ned hates math, Moze and Cookie both love it.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Mr. Sweeney often joins Crubbs on dealing with students, especially Ned, often treating them worse than the bullies do. But like many others, he also has limits on how far, especially seen in "Principals", when he was disgusted on how low Crubbs would go to be promoted. Like the other teachers including Dr. Alistair Wright, Sweeney just wants to do his job, be a teacher.
    • When Crubbs found out that a member of the school board was embezzling $20,000 from the school's maintenance budget on a personal swimming pool, he was disgusted.
  • Evil Twin: Ned planned on using this trope to explain away him kissing Moze. It didn't work.
  • Eye Am Watching You:
    • Crubbs does this to Ned from time to time.
    • Moze does this to Missy when she is pretending to be jealous of her dating Ned to stop her from stalking Ned and scaring off girls who come even close to him.
  • The Eeyore: An episode had Mark Downer depressing everyone he encounters, including Martin Qwerly. Ned solves the problem by finding Mark an equally depressive girlfriend.
  • Exact Words: In "Your Body," Ned gets mocked by Loomer after the latter mocks Ned's attempt to appear stronger than he is. Coach Dirga jumps in and bets Loomer that Ned can lift more weight than him, scheduling a weightlifting contest at the end of the week. After weight training with Dirga all week, Ned doesn't want to do the competition because he doesn't think a week has made him stronger. Dirga points out she never bet Loomer Ned was stronger, just that he could lift more. Weightlifting is just as reliant on technique as physical strength and, sure enough, Loomer fails to lift the barbell because his technique is atrocious. Ned uses the proper technique he practiced and he ends up defeating Loomer.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Backpack Boy, Crony, Lunch Lady and several other minor characters.

  • Failure Is the Only Option: Gordy's eternal pursuit of The Weasel.
  • Fascinating Eyebrow: Moze can do this.
  • Fictional Painting: The Series Finale features a trip to a museum to see a fictional painting called "The Wild Boy."
  • Finger in the Mail: Parodied when Loomer takes Ned's Life Science baby care project doll and sends it back to them piece by piece. The horrified Cookie exclaims, "What do we do now?" to which Ned smiles and replies, "Nothing," because he knew he'd get all the parts of the baby by the deadline. This backfires when, the day before the babies are to be inspected, the teacher suddenly moves up the deadline and they still don't have the head.
  • Fire-Breathing Diner:
    • To get rid of One-Bite and stop him from eating everyone's lunches in "Guide to: Lunch," Ned makes an incredibly spicy sandwich. When One-Bite eats the sandwich, fire comes out of his mouth.
    • When Cookie eats beans with hot sauce on them spilled from the sandwich later that episode, he breathes out fire.
  • First Girl Wins: In the finale, Ned does not end up with Suzie, but with Moze, his longtime friend throughout the course of the show.
  • First Kiss: In "Guide to: A New Semester," we learn that Ned wanted his first kiss to be with Suzie, but along the way he's kissed by the school nurse, the Weasel Mascot and others, reacting with a loud "That didn't count!" each time. But at the end of the episode, Suzie kisses him because Moze had told her about how he had wanted his first kiss to be with her.
    Suzie: Jennifer told me how long you'd been waiting for that, and I thought it was the sweetest thing I'd ever heard.
  • First-Name Basis: Inverted for Moze and Cookie. Cookie and Moze are Only Known by Their Nickname for the most part; the only person who calls Cookie "Simon" is Lisa, who had a crush on him, and the only people who call Moze "Jennifer" are Seth, and Faymen, who she dated during the second and third seasons, respectively, and Jock Goldman and Loomer, who have things for her. Suzie also calls her "Jennifer." Ned on the other hand, is physically unable to call her Jennifer.
  • Five Stages of Grief: Moze (whose backpack—with her diary inside—went missing) goes through these very quickly, with 'anger' coming up a lot. Though she skips the Negotiation stage, and Ned calls it the Four Stages of Grief.
  • Foreign Cuss Word: Subverted in "Guide to: Bad Habits." Moze tries trash-talking in volleyball in Dutch to avoid getting penalized for foul language. The referee turns out to be Dutch (wearing wooden shoes in a school gym!) and penalizes her anyway.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In "Guide to: Study Hall", Ned confides to Moze and Cookie that he hasn't been doing well on his tests recently, so he plans on using study hall to actually study. The next episode reveals that his grades are actually so dire that he's at risk of failing seventh grade and might have to either be held back or go to summer school.
    • In "Guide to: Failing," Lunch Lady reads the corn and says "...but you're going to kiss your true love at a dance soon!." Two episodes later, guess what happens...
    • In "Guide to: Crushes" Cookie's computer program says his perfect match is Lisa Zemo, come season 3 he gets a crush on her once she gets a makeoverand she asks him out on a date in the finale.
  • Formula-Breaking Episode: "Guide to: Vampires, Ghosts, Werewolves, and Zombies" takes place in an alternate, Halloween-based universe where Ned is a vampire, Cookie is a werewolf, Moze is a ghost, Gordy's a zombie, Loomer is a Frankenstein monster, etc. It turns out to be a candy-induced nightmare by Ned in the end.
  • Foul Cafeteria Food: In the intro, Ned specifically lists the gross lunches as one of the worst things about his school. This is exaggerated when he stabs his food with a fork, causing it to spring to life and crawl out of his plate.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Ned is sanguine (cheerful and a bit of a goof), Moze is choleric (assertive and task-oriented), and Cookie is melancholic (perfectionist and hard-working). Gordy might fit as phlegmatic since he's laid back, tends to only interact with the main trio, and is lazy (but he's probably a better fit for sanguine).
  • Free the Frogs: Parodied in "Guide to: Gross Biology Dissections." Ned helps Suzie free a frog from dissection, but it turns out that that frog was actually supposed to be a class pet and that the frogs they were supposed to dissect came pre-killed. He only helps free the frog in the first place to impress Suzie (which Moze calls him out on), the frog-kidnappers end up becoming too attached to the frog (which they name "P. Froggy") to release him, so they make a frog-sized resort for him, and in the climax, when the kids release the frog to "roam free," we hear it crossing a busy street and with a sickening thud, the kids are splattered with green goo. Then the lunch lady walks by and says, "Who left my spinach cans out in the road?" Also, in the end, Mr. Sweeney gives a Virtual Dissection option.
  • Freudian Trio:
    • Ned (Mostly Ego, occasionally Superego): Reasonable and logical for the most part, but will more than occasionally go mad trying to reach his goals.
    • Moze (Mostly Superego, occasionally Ego): Intelligent and friendly. Usually has a logical and effective solution to the others' problems, but can be incredibly unreasonable when it comes to her own.
    • Cookie (Id): Knows technology, but is totally socially inept. Immediately uses the most complicated and ineffective way of solving problems.
  • Gag Haircut: In "Guide to: Bad Hair Days," Ned sneaks out to get a haircut from a high school class that's learning hairdressing. He ends up with a bald spot in the back, which is then fixed by three teachers with terrible hair. That haircut is fixed by the next episode.
  • Garden of Love: In the series finale, Ned and Moze meet up in the museum's garden and finally acknowledge their feelings for each other.
  • Gasshole:
    • "Timmy Toot-Toot" — his incredible flatulence is always accompanied by a betrayingly tiny "Toot toot!" sound effect.
    • He even "passes on" the fame to Ned at one point.
  • Gender-Separated Ensemble Episode: In "Guide to: Boys," Cookie and other boys in their grade take Ned out for a day with the boys to get his mind off of Suzie moving away, while Moze is left out, but ends up teaching a class about boys to some geeky girls.
  • Getting Sick Deliberately: "Sick Days" is about a flu epidemic at school. Moze doesn't want to do an oral report for class, so she tries to get sick so the nurse will send her home early. She drinks from sick kids' juice bottles, uses their chapstick, and even kisses a sick Coconut Head, but remains healthy throughout the day. She has to give the speech, but it ends up being easy... because all the other kids in her class got sent home sick.
  • Girlfriend in Canada: In one episode, Cookie pretends he has a girlfriend to make Lisa jealous. Unfortunately, the only person he makes jealous is Evelyn...
  • Girls Like Musicians: Ned attempted to invoke this, as one reason for learning to play the guitar was his belief that his crush, Suzy Crabgrass, would be attracted to him if he were a rockstar.
  • Girls vs. Boys Plot: In "Guide to: School Car Wash", the seventh graders decide to split their car wash into two gendered teams, both competing for a monetary prize to use for their school. The girls work together like clockwork once Moze convinces them they need to beat the boys, while the boys spend most of their time struggling and failing to clean Mr. Sweeney's dirt-coated car, and end up losing.
  • Glasses Pull: Vice Principal Crubbs loves this trope.
  • Glove Slap: Leads to a duel over Moze between Faymen (who she was currently going out with) and Seth (who had broken up with her in the previous season). Lampshaded by Moze:
    Moze: Guys! Don't be jealous over me! And where are you getting the white gloves?
  • Goggles Do Something Unusual: Cookie's glasses have something very much like a full-function Windows PC built into them. He seems to see perfectly well without them, and Ned doesn't seem to suffer any ill effects while wearing them for a full episode.
  • Good Angel, Bad Angel: Only instead of angels and devils, Ned has Abraham Lincoln and Benedict Arnold.
    Ned: That thing [The Cram-Master] brainwashed me. Now, whenever I'm having a moral dilemma, Abe Lincoln and Benedict Arnold appear on my shoulders!
  • Gossip Evolution: "'Moze' is a great nickname! I like 'Moze'" turns into "Ned is in love with Moze and he wants to ask her out" in "Guide to: Rumors."
  • Gotta Pass the Class: In "Guide to: Extra Credit", Ned has a C+ in health, history, math, and English, so he makes a single extra credit project to use for each class. When his teachers find out, they try to fail him anyway. Claire points out that there's no rule saying that he can't do that, so they relent, admitting that the scheme was clever.
  • Got Volunteered:
    • Played With in "Guide to: School Newspapers." When Mr. Monroe wants some volunteers to help run the Howler, at first, even after both Cookie and Moze shove Ned, he adamantly refuses, but Moze and Cookie manage to convince him to volunteer out of his own accord for the position by giving passionate speeches about the importance of the newspaper. When he volunteers, and Mr. Monroe asks for more volunteers to help with the newspaper, Moze and Cookie quickly look around and stick their hands in their pockets, before laughing at the idea of writing for the "stupid school newspaper."
    • Played straight with Moze in "Guide to: Volunteering." The trio were getting their hours for "volunteering" done by playing broomball with Gordy and having him sign their hours sheet. When Principal Wright finds out about this, he asks them to earn their hours by cleaning up the second entrance to the school. Ned and Cookie pretend to step forward, but they let Moze step forward on her own, thus sticking her with the job.
  • Grand Finale: Including the following tropes:
  • Green-Eyed Monster:
    • Happens to Cookie multiple times during Season 3 towards Lisa's group of male admirers, as well as to Ned in regards to Suzie's boyfriends. Also happens to Moze in "Guide to: Jealousy" towards Missy when her and Ned's plan to make Missy leave Ned alone by fake-dating falls apart at the end when they "fake-break up." Moze shoves Missy away from Ned, rips off the T-shirt that Missy made Ned wear that said "I'm With Missy," and hugs him. After this whole ordeal, Missy finally leaves Ned alone.
      Ned: That. Was. AMAZING! I really thought you were jealous! And now all my Missy problems are gone!
    • Cookie tries to invoke this with Lisa in "Guide to: Jealousy" with a Girlfriend in Canada ploy, but all it does is get Evelyn jealous.
      Cookie: Doesn't this just burn you up with the raging flames of jealousy?
      Lisa: Nah, I'm not the jealous type.
  • Gross Gum Gag: In "Guide to Bad Habits", Cookie attempts to break his nail-biting habit with a gum chewing one. This results in him becoming addicted to gum chewing, to the point where he chews multiple packs at once. When Ned and Moze force him to spit it out, the result is a massive wad going right in the trash.
  • Halloween Episode: "Guide to: Halloween" and "Guide to: Vampires, Werewolves, Ghosts and Zombies." In this two part Halloween episode, the first part dealt with Ned, Moze, and Cookie setting up the school's annual Halloween party. The second was a dream induced by a sugar crash in which Ned was a vampire who was having trouble passing his "turning into a bat" exam, Cookie was a werewolf looking for a transformation trigger to chase off Franken-Loomer, and Moze was a ghost looking to kill someone because she was the only ghost at school.
  • Hammerspace: Played for laughs with lockers, which can hold way more than any ordinary locker would.
  • Hand Gagging: Moze and Ned do this to each other to prevent the other from telling Suzie about their kiss at the school dance the previous day in "Guide to: The Last Day" in order to ensure that they would be the first person to tell her.
  • Hands-On Approach: Moze helps Ned use some tools in wood shop class in this way... in the episode when Ned says She Is Not My Girlfriend and begins to question how true that is. Perfect timing!
  • Hated by All: The Killer Bees are disliked by every at Polk because of the way they spell words to bully them. In the "Spelling Bee" everyone is cheering for Cookie to win to the Spelling Bee because they hate the Killer Bees.
  • He Who Must Not Be Heard: Played straight for most of the series with Buzz, one of the bullies. Lampshaded in "Guide to: Volunteering" when he gives an impassioned speech about volunteering and everyone, including his friends, is shocked to hear him speak.
  • Headphones Equal Isolation: In the study hall episode, one of Ned's tips is that a good way to prevent people from distracting you is to wear headphones. You don't even have to plug them into anything.
  • Held Gaze:
    • In the episode "Guide to: Positives and Negatives," Sarah Gothman and Mark Downing have this before they kiss. It's electrifying.
    • Between Ned and Moze, especially when they were fake-dating in "Guide to: Jealousy."
  • Helping Granny Cross the Street: In "Guide to: Records" the Vice Principal gives Ned examples of how he might change his large behavior record. One of them is helping an old lady cross the street. He does this by helping an elderly teacher cross a crowded hallway intersection.
  • Happily Ever After: A Running Gag, usually used at the conclusion of the explanation of whatever scheme's been cooked up this time. Also, the final words of the series, as everything's tied up once and for all with more-or-less everybody being satisfied with what they end up with.
  • High Hopes, Zero Talent: Cookie's attempts to get on the cheer squad.
  • High-School Dance:
    • Two of these: "Dancing with Wolves" in "Guide to: School Dances", and "Around the World Night" in "Guide to: Double Dating."
    • The "Guide to: School Dances" refers to these as "school sanctioned events that kids take dates to" whose sheer purpose is to provide the perfect scenario for a "boy asking out a girl."
  • The Hilarious Table: Parodied in "Guide to: Popularity" with the popular table. Moze lampshades this.
    Moze: We keep laughing, but I don't even know what we're laughing about!
  • Hopeless Auditionees: Done when they need a new class clown. "Highlights" include lame jokes from Seth and Coconut Head, one of the Huge Crew threatening Ned and Cookie, and Loomer and his cronies doing a Three Stooges Shout-Out, only to end up fighting for real.
  • Hopeless Suitor: Loomer might had have a chance with Moze but she knew better then to trust him in a relationship. It didn't stop his scheming. Subverted in "Late Bus" where he makes a good effort to impress him, unfortunately Suzie thought he was asking her out not Moze and Moze even said she would've said yes if she knew it was him asking her out.
  • Hope Spot: Near the end of "Guide to: Cell Phones," when Ned calls Suzie and explains everything to her that has made her think he doesn't want to talk to her, she believes him but then Mose's cellphone dies, and Suzie breaks up with him anyway, because she had just given him a last warning to never hang up on her again, or they were through. Following that, Ned says to charge up every night to avoid a dead battery in an emergency.
  • Hot Wind: In "Guide to: Reading," Cookie sees this when the girls who are in Moze's book club walk by.
  • How Did You Know? I Didn't: The episode "Guide to: The New Kid" has Cookie as the "new kid" in his new advanced math class posing as a British person to seem more interesting to his new class. Turns out the class already has a British kid, who calls him out on it. Cue Cookie stammering and then trying to save face by sputtering miscellaneous stereotypical and nonsensical British-isms. Then it turns out he was faking as well; he's from Ohio, not Britain. Cookie asks "Then how did you know I wasn't British?" The response? "I didn't. I just took a stab and you caved."
  • How We Got Here: Used in "Guide To: Revenge."
  • Hypocritical Heartwarming: Moze towards Ned.
    Mr. Sweeney: It looks like you've gone from a bad scientist to a mad scientist! *cackles evilly*
    Moze: Hey! He can't rank on you like that! Only I can rank on you like that.
  • Huge Schoolgirl: Moze. Lampshaded in an episode in which she is insecure about her height.
  • Human Traffic Jam: One episode centers around this, with Ned, Moze and Cookie trying to counter or avoid this trope.
  • Humiliating Wager: One episode has Ned and Moze making a bet that they won't procrastinate on a project. The loser has to do a silly dance wearing silly clothes. Ned seems to be procrastinating, except he was doing things relevant to his assignment, and Moze was procrastinating.
  • I Am Spartacus: Used in an episode about embarrassment. Suzie "blew the pants cannon" and is embarrassed. Ned claims he was the one responsible but that he is not embarrassed. He then says "I am Fartacus," prompting one by one student making the same claim. The Alpha Bitch declares that she is not Fartacus only to pass gas after saying so. She reluctantly stands with the rest of the students.
  • I Was Beaten by a Girl: Played With. In "Guide to: Gym," Moze beats Ned in martial arts. Ned is embarrassed by this, but not strictly because he was beaten by a girl (after all, Moze has been beating him up since Pre-K, so this is really nothing new), but because everyone knows about it. He still gets called out on this by Moze ("It's the 21st century! Girls are tough!") and Coach Strax ("Jennifer's your friend, right?...And you respect her, right?...So there's no shame in losing to her!"), though.
  • I Was Just Joking: Moze sarcastically suggests that Ned dress up as a girl and check the girl's restroom for his guide. Much to her dismay, he takes her sarcastic suggestion seriously.
    Moze: It's not in there. And if you don't believe me, why don't you go dress up as a girl and go look for yourself?
    (cut to Ned dressed in drag)
    Moze: I was being sarcastic!
  • I Will Fight No More Forever: Moze refuses to play dodgeball ever again in "Guide to: Dodgeball" because she thinks she gave Coconut Head a bloody nose and knocked out his teeth when she accidentally threw a dodgeball at his face. She snaps out of it when she finds out she didn't cause his nosebleed and the "teeth" she thought she knocked out were just breath mints.
  • I Would Say If I Could Say: In "Guide To: Getting Organized," Vice Principal Crubbs replaces the students' favorite vending machine snacks—fruity granola bars—with his own favorite, powdered mini-donuts. When Moze and Cookie lament the situation, Mr. Pal overhears and begins talking about Samuel Gompers, an early twentieth-century labor activist and union organizer who helped people fight for their rights. Moze and Cookie ask if he is telling them that they, too, should organize and protest against Crubbs. Mr. Pal tells them that, as a former principal and current teacher, he can't condone such an action...but if he wasn't, he would certainly support the idea. Sure enough, Pal is later seen sitting with the students during their protest (a mass walkout of classes).
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming:
    • Every episode is entitled in the format "Guide to: [name of topic/subject]"
    • The Grand Finale TV Movie takes it up to eleven with the title of, "Guide To: Field Trips, Permission Slips, Signs, and Weasels."
  • Idiot Ball: In Guide to: Procrastination, the usually savvy and level-headed Moze procrastinates on her project about Netherlands because the clogs hurt her feet. It never occurred to her to do anything like stuff cotton or cushioned insoles in the shoes. Mr. Wright is the nicest teacher in school and would surely understand why she'd do such a thing.
  • Imagine the Audience Naked: In "Guide to: Spelling Bees," Ned gives this advice to Cookie, and at the end of the episode, the entire audience inexplicably becomes all-male and actually strip to their underwear to help Cookie win the bee.
  • In a World…:
    • Parodied in "Guide To: Video Projects."
    • Also parodied in other episodes, when Ned's plan is presented like a movie trailer, such as in "Guide To: Computer Lab."
  • Informed Attribute: Cookie's official backstory is that he is extremely wealthy but hides the fact so that he can have a normal school experience. This contradicts any plot line where he and his friends are short on money. This isn't entirely implausible, though, as his parents are shown to travel a lot, he apparently has the money for materials to create a lot of high-tech inventions, and they lent him a credit card with a high limit. It's possible Cookie's parents are okay with giving him money for practical purposes but expect him to pay for his own personal pleasures.
  • Insistent Terminology:
  • Inspirational Insult: Vice Principal Crubbs tells Mr. Wright who wasn't going to try for the principal position anyway that he wouldn't make a good principal. This irks Mr. Wright and he decides to go and try for the principal position. This even gets lampshaded.
  • Instant Illness: At the end of "Sick Days," Matt Hoffman appears to get sick mere minutes after meeting and biking with the very sick Cookie, crashing their bike when he sneezes.
  • Insufferable Genius:
    • In addition to being bullies that are implied to be even worse than Loomer, the Killer Bee spelling team repeatedly mocks people while also showing off their spelling prowess.
    • Lance Widget, also. He never hesitates to insult the people he tutors.
      Ned: *talking about his tutors* [Lance] called me mean things that I didn't understand...
  • Intentional Mess Making: Downplayed. In "Guide To Lunch", Lisa Zemo is shown to be a volunteer lunch-worker due to money struggles. Missy takes advantage of this by intentionally spilling stuff on her table to make her clean it up and embarrass her over it.
  • It's a Wonderful Plot: In the episode "Guide to: Boys," Ned's friends, Gordy, and Mr. Sweeney use this to cheer Ned up and get him writing tips again. They actually pull it off by acting out Ned's past and a present with and without the Guide.
  • Ironic Name: James K. Polk was a straight-laced, brooding, and humorless man who has a reputation among presidential historians as The Chessmaster, which makes it all the more ironic that a school with such zany schemes and hi-jinx going on all the time (with such antics frequently going awry) bares his name.
  • Irritation Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery: When Tracy tries to separate from her twin Stacy in "Guide To: Shyness," she starts modeling herself after whomever her current closest friend is: dressing up like them, imitating their voice, and even renaming herself to rhyme with their name (such as "Treth" when she tries to be Seth's friend). This seems to stem less from idolization and more from a really unstable sense of self.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Missy may the Alpha Bitch, but her reply when Suzie objects to her pursuing Ned is entirely true.
    Suzie: You know I like Ned.
    Missy: You had your chances to date Ned, and you blew all of them.
  • Jerk Jock: Averted with Seth who is a decent guy who has no problem hanging out with the nerd characters. Played straight with Mike in Season 3, and Jock Goldman in his first appearance.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Moze is short-tempered, aggressive, and sarcastic, and she frequently insults Ned and Cookie, but she does care about them and is usually willing to help in whatever way she can.
    • Loomer might count, too. He's the class bully, but he has proven himself to be a nice person deep, deep down inside.
  • Jumping the Shark: Invoked The Trope Namer was given a Shout-Out in "Guide to: Dares"
  • Just Friends: Ned and Moze, until the finale episode.
  • Lampshade Hanging: This show loves to do this, naturally, since it parodies its genre.
  • Laugh Track:
    • Invoked In-Universe by Cookie in the "Guide to: Class Clowns" episode. Cookie creates himself a "Laugh Track Machine" to become the new class clown.
      Moze: This is your most ridiculous invention yet.
      Cookie: *plays laugh track*
      Moze: But it does make everything kind of funny.
    • Averted in the show overall. The laugh track is replaced with a set of specific "stand-in" soundsnote , having one for a determinate situation.
  • Laughing Gas: In "Science Fair", one of the projects at school's science fair involves the effects of Nitrous oxide on plant life. Near the end, Ned falls and breaks the display, causing him to inhale the gas and start laughing uncontrollably. He then grabs onto a Van de Graaff generator, which makes his hair stand up and gives him the appearance of a stereotypical Mad Scientist.
  • "Last Day of School" Plot: "The Last Day" focuses on the last day of school and Ned trying to reveal his feelings to Suzie.
  • Last-Minute Hookup: Ned and Moze finally become an Official Couple in the finale movie.
  • Leitmotif: Martin Qwerly, of all characters, has one that always plays (a sped-up mix of "Pop Goes The Weasel") when his motor mouth gets going. Cookie has a rather odd-sounding sting that punctuates some of his more outlandish statements. Other leitmotifs include "Flight of the Bumblebee" for the Killer Bees, Loomer's guitar shred, a quirky theme for Mr. Monroe, a harmonica whenever Chopsaw shows up, Nerd!Lisa's soft and sad piece, Bitsy's innocent-sounding flute piece, Faymen's Spanish guitar, and the "Miami Vice" knockoff theme for Crubbs.
  • Less Embarrassing Term: Ned's experimental "School Survival Cushion Protector" (an ordinary bedroom pillow). Also the "Guide to: Volunteering," which is about community service as a school requirement, not actual volunteering.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: Moze and Ned, to an extent. They are very comfortable with each other, and they exchange insults frequently.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Gordy, Crubbs, Seth and a few others always have the exact same outfit. Missy, despite being the Alpha Bitch, usually wears a yellow blouse if not her cheerleading outfit.
  • Literal-Minded: In the "Guide to: Friends Moving," Faymen's parents are worried about why he's performing so poorly in school, and they think about moving him back to Brazil, scheduling a meeting with Crubbs. Obviously, Moze doesn't want him to leave, so she, Ned, and Cookie hatch a plan to distract Crubbs, and have Gordy take his place for the meeting. Ned creates a massive distraction in the hallways, forcing Crubbs to chase him. Ned runs out of the school's main entrance. Moze gets in front of Crubbs, yelling that Ned had "gone crazy," and that he was "running all the way to New York City." So, what does Crubbs do? Start running all the way to New York City.
  • Live-Action Cartoon: Many times the show acts like a cartoon as much as a live-action show. Characters act over-the-top, cartoon and music sound effects constantly appear in the show, characters get injured on a daily basis but are fine in the next scene or a few scenes later, and a lot of the crazier elements (like students using mop buckets like go carts and rocketing across the halls thanks to comically large slingshots, or using cardboard cutout of themselves to trick other characters), get completely ignored by the background characters. World of Ham indeed. It's even noticeable in its format of two 11-minute episodes, which is usually reserved for cartoons.
  • Loony Librarian: In the episode "The Library & Volunteering", Ms. Holler definitely qualifies. She's loud, she makes puns, and she plays the accordion. Badly.
  • Love Triangle:
    • In the first two seasons, Lisa has a crush on Cookie, who always overlooks her because she's Hollywood Homely. After her (unnecessary) makeover, their roles reverse- Cookie likes her back now that she's pretty, but after 2 years of unrequited love and a newfound Unwanted Harem, she doesn't really see him as anything more than a friend now. Cookie FINALLY manages to get a date with Lisa in the Grande Finale however.
    • There is a portrayal of this in an early episode, where Ned stares lovingly at Suzie, Suzie stares lovingly to Loomer, and Loomer stares lovingly to Moze. She is the only one who finds the whole scene strange.
  • The Ludovico Technique: Parodied in the "Bad Habits" episode, where Ned's eyes are propped open with tape as he watches a movie on the word "no."note 
  • Mad Love: Missy towards Ned. Provides the page quote.
  • Magic 8-Ball: Ned uses Moze's "Magic Pyramid" to pass his exams. It gets him a "B" on a test...but the crazy guidance counselor smashes it into pieces.
  • Magic Countdown: On the "Guide to: Dismissal" episode, there's a timer in the bottom left corner. While it never leaves the screen, the seconds slow down and go faster 10 "seconds" before the bus leaves. Although, it still ends up being mostly accurate overall, being an eleven-minute countdown (the time until the busses leave, as well as the approximate length of each segment) which runs out as the segment ends (baring the last few seconds). The slowed-down and sped-up time are partly compensated for by each other, as well as by the timer not being on screen for the very beginning of the segment, only starting when it first appears.
  • Magic Floppy Disk: Justified in "Guide to: School Pictures"; the school pictures being taken on film were a Plot Point when Cookie planned to hack the camera to upload a better picture of himself.
  • Magical Negro: Lunch Lady, who can read the future in baked beans or corn.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Moze and Ned.
  • Master Forger: The subplot of "Guide to: Notes" involves Cookie finding out about a mysterious figure called "Le Forger" who can perfectly forge excuse notes for anything, even allowing people to sleep in class, which he sells to students in exchange for macaroons. The operation only ends when Cookie gets too greedy, exploiting his notes so much that the teachers catch on and almost follow him back to Le Forger. The ending implies he is secretly Martin Qwerly.
  • Master of the Mixed Message:
    • Suzie. Evident at very specific times (at other times almost a tsundere), but not an overriding personality quirk.
    • And Moze, even despite the fact that she and Ned are the official couple.
  • May the Farce Be with You: "Guide to: Dodgeball" is one huge Star Wars parody, with Cookie joining The Dark Side and gaining a robotized voice and heavy breathing from his dodge ball helmet, an Image Freeze echoing the end of the master-vs.apprentice fight in A New Hope, and a dodgeball called The Force (allowing Coach Dirga to deliver the line "Use the force, Moze"), among others. Ned and Moze are both Luke, Cookie is Anakin/Vader, and Loomer is Palpatine.
  • Meadow Run: Invoked by Moze in "Guide to: Positives and Negatives" to finally get sparks in her kisses with Faymen. It doesn't work.
  • Meaningful Name:
  • Meta Casting: One off music teacher Mr. Gibson was played Everclear member Art Alexakis, who was encouraging Ned to stick with the guitar even though practicing the scales was boring. While seemingly rather boring in a tweet jacket, he gets a musical number while showing his sleeve tattoos. Also runs into "Sesame Street" Cred.
  • Middle School Is Miserable: The series' raison d'etre. As the Opening Narration states, bullies abound, the teachers are nuts, and the lunch is disgusting. Hence why Ned Bigby starts the titular guide.
  • Missed the Bus: One episode dealt with the theme of buses in which Cookie and several other students miss their bus (more accurately, the bus misses them because the driver has been influenced into rushing to school, and misses their stop) and have to find other ways to get to school.
  • Missed Meal Aesop: In one episode, Cookie's storyline involves him becoming a Mood-Swinger because he skipped breakfast.
  • "Mission: Impossible" Cable Drop: Ned does this in "Guide to: Notebooks" when he tries to steal Mr. Sweeney's "Golden Notebook."
  • Mistaken for Cheating: Defied in the season two finale when Ned and Moze accidentally kiss at a school dance. Needless to say, they both freak out because Ned is dating Suzie and Moze is Suzie's best friend, but when they finally approach her, she calmly states that she already knew about it, knows it was an accident, and was just waiting to see if they would tell her about it themselves. Since they did, she has no issue with it whatsoever.
  • Mistaken For An Impostor: In "Guide to: Reading," Cookie tries to get into the all-girls book club by dressing up as a girl, and Moze catches on. The next day, when a female teacher enters, claiming that Vice-Principal Crubbs wanted her to supervise them after Moze attacked Cookie (Crubbs was concerned about the violence), Moze starts attacking the teacher, but finds out that the teacher really is a woman, and not Cookie.
  • Mistaken for Murderer: Cookie sees a body dressed in Faymen's clothing fall past the window, and becomes convinced that Moze killed him because he's a bad kisser. Eventually he starts to think that Ned, Mr. Monroe, and Gordy are in on it too. Naturally, it's just an old CPR dummy they want to get rid of.
    Moze: I didn't want to put my lips on that thing.
    Mr. Monroe: Yeah, he was really disgusting.
  • Moment Killer: Cookie in the Grand Finale when he interrupts Moze and Ned after they kiss.
    Cookie: Some art thieves are going to try to steal the Wild Boy! (pauses) Was I interrupting something?
    Ned and Moze: (in unison) We're going out now!
  • Monster Is a Mommy: The Weasel is a Mommy, only without the defeat and death.
  • Motor Mouth:
    • Martin Qwerly
    • His one-time character sister; it's also implied that his entire family are fast-talkers.
  • Must Have Lots of Free Time: Gordy. He follows the kids around and doesn't do his job at all, saying that "the night guy will get it."
  • Mysterious Teacher's Lounge: When the door of the Teacher's Lounge is opened, dance music and disco lights can be seen and heard from the hallway along with smoke pouring out. And, in "Guide to: School Websites," Ned becomes completely fine with being signed up as the president of the website committee because he, Moze, and Cookie finally get to see what's inside the Teacher's Lounge. Unfortunately, we don't get to.

  • Naked Freak-Out: Jock Goldman, an eighth grader who used Moze in "Guide to: Upperclassmen" to get his ex girlfriend jealous got his just desserts when Ned's annoying, pantsing fifth grade charge stole all of Jock's clothes. He had to use a large pink elephant to hide himself.
  • Name One: After his attempts to get remove from the Class Ballot fails, Ned still refuses to take the election seriously since he still thinks it's just a popularity contest. He asks Moze if there was one unpopular guy who was made class president, and she points out Mr. Chopsaw.
  • Nerdy Bully:
    • The Killer Bees are a trio of spelling-bee champions who literally buzz around the school to bully people by spelling at them. They later try to make Cookie join their ranks, separating him from Ned, but all so he'd change their grades in the school computer system.
    • "Nerdy bully" are the words used by The Other Wiki to describe Lance Widget, an extremely bossy and aggressive Fat Bastard who was Ned's tutor for a while and was always yelling at him and calling him "moron."
    • Evelyn is a studious Asian and Nerdy girl who is pretty much Lance's female version. She insults the other students, uses intimidation to fulfill her goals, and has no problem tormenting and beating up her academic rival Cookie (though she's also a Loving Bully to him).
  • Never Say "Die": Hilariously averted, the Huge Crew's motto in their campaign to make Ned president was "Vote Ned Or You're Dead." Also averted as part of a joke during the Halloween special. The outgoing principal is faking death-by-shock, seemingly due to a too-scary "Haunted Hallway" attraction. As the gang realizes his condition, they all sidestep around saying the d-word...until Vice-Principal Crubbs and Gordy, attempting to call EMS, both announce, "My dead!"
  • Never Trust a Trailer: In one commercial, there was a scene where Moze collides with Ned and ends up on top (no this is not going into that). It was obviously trying to suggest the corridor scene would be a romantic moment for the both of them. But the episode was one of the few not involving the Unresolved Sexual Tension between them and the encounter was about as platonic as you could imagine... "So how's the reading going?"
  • New Year, Same Class: Mostly Averted, where the kids are shown to be in different level classes based on skill, get new teachers when they move from 7th to 8th grade, etc (the fact they don't have the same classes together as the year before is even a plot point in the pilot). However "evil" science teacher Mr. Sweeney does follow them up from 7th to 8th (to their collective horror) and the class is populated with the same few recurring characters as before.
  • Nice Mean And In Between:
    • Ned is the friendly nice one, Moze is the most sarcastic and short-tempered (mean), and Cookie is mostly harmless but can be obnoxious and self-absorbed (in-between).
    • Out of Ned's love interests, Suzie is nice (sweet, dislikes violence), Alpha Bitch Missy is mean (with a name like Missy Meany...), and Moze is in-between (good-natured but can be aggressive and not above using violence).
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished:
    • Mr. Sweeney offered his car for the car wash on the boys' side because he enjoyed helping raise money. They then go on to destroy his car by smashing his windshield, putting a large hole in its roof while the teacher who drove it off dented its front and back bumpers (knocking the front completely off) and peeling the door off when driving into a pole. The next season, karma came back to him when he wins a much better car from a radio contest that Cookie had been trying to win.
    • When Loomer is accused by Crubbs of destroying a bad sander in Woodshop and is in danger of being expelled, Moze, who believes Loomer is innocent, convinces Ned and Cookie, who are happy to get rid of Loomer, to help clear his name. Unfortunately, this leads to her becoming the prime suspect in the sander getting destroyed.
  • No Name Given: Many people are only known by their nicknames: Coconut Head, Backpack Boy...
  • Nobody Poops: Shown in "Guide to: Bathrooms" particularly when Cookie accidentally goes into the girls' bathroom when he had to go really badly. In "Guide to: Dismissal" Moze and the other girls are tired of waiting in line for the girls' room and commandeer the boys room.
  • Nominated as a Prank: When Ned runs for class president against Suzie, the incumbent candidate, and The Weasel, a random weasel living in the school's ventilation systems. The Weasel wins.
  • Non Sequitur, *Thud*: Happens to Spencer, who was supposed to be playing Romeo in the School Play, after he falls off the stage when Ned and Cookie make the lights too bright so that Spencer would get injured and Cookie would get to play Romeo.
    Spencer: Okay, I'm ready to see Santa!
    Mr. Combover: What are we going to do? Spencer is cuckoo!
  • No Sparks: Moze gets with the hot foreign exchange student Faymen for a long time, but is confused to find that she only feels sparks kissing Ned.
  • Noodle Implements: Subverted, along with Noodle Incident, in "Guide to: Procrastination." Moze and Ned bet "the usual" over whether Ned will put off his social studies project and fail, and she gathers a ton of odd costume parts and props (clown shoes, a toilet plunger, fairy wings, etc.) throughout the episode for the bet itself. Ned passes and we get see what the bet entailed: dancing in a circle in the school's foyer, wearing all the costume parts and yodeling into the plunger while a whole crowd of students looks on.
  • Noodle Incident:
    Moze: This is your worst idea ever. ...Wait, cheese pants was your worst idea ever. But this is close.
    • Not to mention the varying number of times Ned has been trapped in the girl's bathroom...
  • Not Me This Time: Loomer is accused of vandalism and protests that he's innocent, even while admitting he doesn't know what he's being accused of. Ned notes that when you regularly lie to the teachers, they won't believe you when you're actually telling the truth.
  • "Not So Different" Remark:
    • The episode "Guide to: Stress" ends with the three protagonists' frightening realization how they're not that different from their Mentors: Ned and Gordy, Moze and iTeacher, and Cook and Dr. Wright. Their role models were also a little freaked out.
    • "Guide to: Career Week" showed Ned why he would work best in an education-related career. Like Vice Principal Crubbs, he likes giving students advice and helping them to become better people.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: The Killer Bees were more just Smug Snakes who would spell at people when the spelling bee rolled around. In their next appearance, they tried to split Cookie and Ned apart to get Cookie to change their math grades in the school system knowing it can get him expelled then try to beat him up when he refuses.
  • Not What It Looks Like: In "Guide to: Health", Moze, Gordy, and Mr. Munroe try to bury the CPR doll used in Health class, but Cookie thinks they're burying Fayman's dead body due to a series of events involving the doll earlier. It doesn't help that the three comment about how gross the doll is.
  • Obfuscating Insanity: Ned does this to scare Loomer from beating him up in Guide to: Bullies.
  • Obsessed with Perfect Attendance: In an episode, Sweeney thinks Cookie missed homeroom (he actually just dropped something and leaned down from his desk to pick it up and couldn't hear Sweeney because he was listening to music) and marks him absent, ruining his perfect attendance record. Despite the other kids later telling Sweeney he was there, Sweeney refuses to listen and tells them that unless they use a time machine to go back to that day, the record stays. Cookie then gets the class together to build a time machine and make Sweeney use it the next day. It seemingly works but then it turns out they just changed the classroom and their clothes to pretend it's the previous day because time travel is in fact impossible.
  • Of Corpse He's Alive: In "Guide to: Halloween" Ned, Moze, Cookie, Gordy, and Vice Principal Crubbs do this with the principal. Subverted in that the principal was faking his death to scare them.
  • Offscreen Teleportation:
    • Moze has done this. For instance, in "Guide to: Spirit Week," Cookie snatches Moze's corn dog from her hand and replaces it with the Spirit Stick because he didn't want to hold it anymore and runs away...only to find Moze standing in front of the cafeteria exit to give him the Spirit Stick back. Cookie looks back at where Moze was sitting with a very perplexed look on his face.
    • In "Guide to: Nicknames," Ned runs quickly so that he can pass by Moze and Moze would call him "Wheels" because he's so fast so that this nickname would stick, but after running a little bit, he finds Moze suddenly in front of him.
      Moze: I'm telling you, you're not that fast.
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: In "Guide to: Money," one of Cookie's several failed attempts to quickly make $50 involves a failed ventriloquism act. Moze sees the poster, and she invokes this trope. (And since no further description is given in the series, it can be assumed that she is referring to a Noodle Incident of some sort.)
    Moze: Oh, no. Not Baxter Bear!
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: In Elementary School, Ned used the girl's bathroom by mistake at least a couple of times during emergencies. This has led to him being mocked by Loomer and his gang, including adding an "and Ned" sign to the girl's bathroom door.
  • One-Hour Work Week: While we see the students in class a fair amount of the time, they are shown spending just as much time not in class in whatever wacky scheme they've got going each episode. Such as the penultimate episode, where Ned spends over four hours just telling Gordy his and Moze's life story.
  • One-Steve Limit: This show is a notable aversion having numerous instances where it is acknowledged that several people have the same name.
    • In "Guide to: Late Bus," Moze meets a girl also named Jennifer, leading her to clarify that her name is actually "Jennifer Tu" and that she wasn't saying her name is "Jennifer too".
    • In "Guide to: Notebooks," an angry mob forms after thinking Suzie Crabgrass was writing lies about them in her notebook. When Moze finds evidence that the notebook was written years prior, she points out that everyone in the mob has common enough names that it wouldn't be farfetched to believe a class years ago had students with the exact same first names.
    • Discussed when Moze grew annoyed with her nickname, which only Ned, Cookie, and Gordy used for her, and set out to get them to just call her Jennifer (her last name is Mosley). Ned reveals, with some sentiment, that he gave her that name because there were four other Jennifers in their class, but only one Moze.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: While Mr. Chopsaw is being wheeled on a stretcher to an awaiting ambulance with a large drill bit protruding from his hand, he seriously downplays it.
    Mr Chopsaw: It's just a scratch, see!
  • Only Known by Their Nickname:
    • Moze's full name is Jennifer Mozely, and Cookie's is Simon Nelson-Cook, but only their relatives and teachers call them that.
    • Coconut Head and Backpack Boy, true to their names.
  • Only Sane Man: The level-headed Moze is usually the voice of reason of the main trio, and much more sensible compared to Ned, Cookie, and most of the school. Ned also fills this role, being a fairly normal Ridiculously Average Guy, while the other students (and most of the teachers) are merely caricatures and act like over–the–top cartoon characters.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • In the volunteering episode, Buzz who normally never speaks gives a speech to the other main characters after he becomes disappointed in their shoddy volunteer work.
    • In "Guide to: Boys," everyone knows Ned is depressed when he doesn't want to do the tips any more. Even Mr. Sweeney knows something is wrong when he starts yelling at Ned for a cruel prank and he doesn't run away or lie to him.
  • Opening Narration: "In a middle school full of bullies, insane teachers, and gross school lunches, Ned Bigby—that's me—and my two best friends try to do the impossible: create a guide to help YOU survive school. (theme tune) Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide. Your results may vary."
  • Oral Fixation: In "Guide to: Bad Habits," Cookie goes through a cycle of chewing habits to get his mind off of being a packrat.
  • Orbital Kiss: Between Ned and Moze in the Grand Finale.
  • Out-of-Context Eavesdropping: "Guide to: Rumors" has Ned telling Moze she likes calling her by her nickname, stating "I like Moze." One student overhears this and without context spreads a rumor that Ned has a crush on Moze.
  • Out of Focus: Backpack Boy and Clair Sawyer, memorable recurring characters in the first two seasons, only make a couple of brief appearances in the final season.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Meta-example. While the show itself was funny, enjoyable and popular in its own right, and definitely way more popular than other mid-2000s Nickelodeon shows like Unfabulous or Just Jordan, shows like Drake & Josh and Zoey101 are more likely to be recognized.
  • Pair the Spares: In the Grand Finale, when Ned and Moze finally decide to go out, Ned's ex-girlfriend Suzie and Loomer, Moze's Hopeless Suitor, decide to get back together.
  • Pair the Smart Ones: Subverted; it would seem things are going that way for Cookie/Evelyn, but he ends up with Lisa and Evelyn goes out with Seth Powers.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: In the episode "Guide to: Computer Lab", after Ned and Moze are banned from the computer lab, they poorly disguise themselves as Coconut Head and Lisa to get back it. Mr. Kwest quickly recognizes them, but at the end of the episode, Mr. Wright also disguises himself as Coconut Head, but despite him only wearing a wig, Mr. Kwest somehow can't see through it.
  • Parental Bonus: Vice Principal Crubbs. His name is a combination of Crockett and Tubbs, the two main characters from Miami Vice; he even dresses with a white jacket over a blue shirt. Originally he wanted to be a vice cop (in Miami, of course), but found the education system more rewarding and he still had "vice" in his title.
  • Phrase Catcher: "Claire, we've known you since Pre-K," in response to her Insistent Terminology above.
  • Picture Day: One episode, "Guide to: Picture Day," specifically dealt with Picture Days by having Ned help Moze give a good smile for the camera, since her smiles always look awkward and forced for school pictures, and by having Cookie search for someone who could pose as him, since his pictures always stink.
  • Pinball Gag: In "Guide to: Dodgeball," Moze was able to take out four people with one throw of a dodgeball. Sound effects, of course, were included.
  • Playing Pictionary: In one episode, Ned tries to paint abstract art and the entire school thinks it's a naked lady. At the end of the episode, he tries again and people see it as a fire truck.
  • Playing Sick: Played straight and inverted in the episode "Guide to: Sick Day." During a flu epidemic in the school, Moze tries to fake being sick to get out of making a class presentation and is unsuccessful. Ned tries to steer clear of anyone who is sick as a special guest is coming to visit one of his classes. Cookie is sick as a dog, but doesn't want to ruin his perfect attendance record and works to avoid the nurse, who is actively searching for anyone whose temperature is even slightly feverish. Ultimately, he gets help playing healthy.
  • Plotline Crossover: A very frequent occurrence in the series.
    • For example, "Guide to: Hallways" puts Ned, Cookie and Moze in separate plotlines; Ned becomes a hall monitor, Cookie starts his own hallway traffic report and Moze tries to navigate the re-routed hallways to talk to Faymen. Moze gets Cookie to report a fake traffic tip to benefit her; she avoids any traffic, which gets re-routed to trample Cookie and collide with Ned and the people in his hallway.
  • Potty Emergency:
    • A Running Gag involves Ned accidentally going into the girls' bathroom during one of these.
    • Also in one episode, Moze is desperate and waiting in a long line to the girls' room and makes numerous attempts to relieve herself. First, she tries going to the other girls' room, only to find it just as crowded. Then she tries to disguise herself as a boy to get into the boys' room, which almost works until Cookie blows her cover. Finally, she and the other girls get fed up with waiting and charge into the boys' room to finally relieve themselves.
  • Prophecies Are Always Right: Lunch Lady can "read the beans" (seeing the future in a scoop of beans or corn). Her prophecies usually come true, though not necessarily in the expected way, but she also admits that the future isn't written in stone.
  • Pun: Some of the B-stories (especially a number of Cookie's in Season 3) have these. For example, "Guide to: Tutors" was actually "tooters" as in Timmy Toot-Toot, "Guide to: Positives and Negatives" had Cookie trying to get back at Loomer after a static charge attack, and "Guide to: Extra Credit" had him lampshade the pun when he showed Ned and Moze the credit card his dad lent him for the episode.
  • Punny Name: Many, but one of the most obvious is Faymen Phorchin (fame and fortune), an expert Brazilian soccer player. Other examples include:
    • Mr. Chopsaw, the wood shop teacher
    • Mr. Gross, a teacher with terrible hygiene.
    • Doug Secksay, a popular student implied to have a high sex appeal.
    • The Oboe twins, two shy girls who play the oboe.
    • Miss Knapp, an elderly teacher who slept in class a lot.
    • Hal E. Burton, the corrupt chair of the school board, who Ned and crew expose for using funds to build a pool for himself then disguising it as a new addition to the school. His name is a reference to Halliburton, the oil company once headed by Dick Cheney, the U.S. Vice President at the time of the show's airing.
    • Miss Splitz, a school counselor who uses different methods for counselling each student,note  which tends to make her seem like she has a split personality.
    • Mr. Gibson, a music teacher whose name is a reference to Gibson guitars.
  • Queer People Are Funny: Ned and Cookie end up playing Romeo and Juliet, respectively, in the School Play and Hilarity Ensues as it's made clear that they're going to have to kiss onstage, even though the actual kiss is never shown onstage.
  • Radio Contest: In "Guide to: Cell Phones," Cookie uses a jacket full of cell phones to try to win a car. It all comes to nothing in the end, as the contest is for people 18 and up, making him ineligible. If only he'd listened to Moze...
  • Rain Dance:
    • A reverse rain dance is performed by Coconut Head and the other boys to get it to be sunny so that they don't have to play dodgeball in P.E.
    • Later, they do a similar "Bring Back Moze" dance after Moze says that she won't play dodgeball, since she's their only hope of not getting totally annihilated in dodgeball.
  • Real Time: Played with in "Guide to: Dismissal." A countdown clock is present onscreen the entire episode, counting the 11 minutes until the bus leaves. Though most of the action is questionable whether it could all happen in that time frame.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Crony's sewing.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • Dr. Wright, so much so that he ends up being the trio's pick for a principal candidate to compete against Vice Principal Crubbs.
    • Mr. Monroe, especially in Season 1. An incident of note is in "Guide to: Bullies," when Claire and Moze pick him to mediate their Peer Mediation Group.
  • Record Needle Scratch: This happened from time to time in conversations on the show. In "Guide to: Talent Shows," 2 of these are heard about 3 seconds apart after Cookie inadvertently sits next to Mr. Wright and the other students have left.
    Cookie: Pretty lame talent show.
    (first record scratch)
    Mr. Wright: What did you say?
    (second record scratch)
    Cookie: (gasp) Sorry, wrong number. (he gets up and leaves)
    Mr. Wright: (looking around) Hey, where is everybody?
  • Refuge in Audacity: Everything that happens in the show is over-the-top and not just fueled by the Rule of Funny... It's fueled by the Rule Of Hilarious.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Ned and Moze, who after seasons of Unresolved Sexual Tension, finally get together in the Grand Finale.
  • Remember the New Guy?: In sort of a reverse to Bitsy's situation, when Missy first appears the characters act like she's been around a long time. She's even part of Suzie's circle in her first appearance.
    • Both Crubbs and Principal Pal are introduced far later than their roles in faculty would suggest.
  • Revealing Hug: As part of their plan to trick Missy into believing that Ned and Moze are dating, Moze hugs Ned... and holds on after Missy leaves.
    Ned: Um, you can... let go now.
    Moze: Huh? Oh, right. (forced chuckle) I know...
  • Revenge Before Reason: "Gude to: Revenge" is pretty much all about this trope.
Moze: You two are living proof that revenge makes you crazy.
Cookie: Crazy for more revenge!
  • Ridiculous Procrastinator: Ned at times, which is why Moze bets Ned that he won't be able to finish his project in on time in "Guide to: Procrastination."
  • Rocky Roll Call: In "Guide to: School Car Washes," Moze and her rival-turned-friend Suzie Crabgrass confront Missy Meaney:
    Moze: (menacingly) Meaney.
    Missy: (menacingly) Mosely. Crabgrass.
    Suzie: (menacingly) Meaney. Mosely.
    Moze: (hurt) Crabgrass!
    Suzie: (apologetic) Mosely!
    Missy: (taunting) Crabgrass... I mean, Mosely!
    Moze and Suzie: (menacingly) Meaney.
  • Romantic False Lead: Faymen and Suzie both play this role.
  • Rule of Funny: Quite a lot of it.
  • Running Gag: Several, including:
    • Moze suggesting something sarcastically, and Ned and Cookie actually taking that suggestion.
    • Gordy doing something in a more complicated way because "it's more fun this way."
    • The trio using the ventilation ducts to get to somewhere, only to end up in the wrong place.
    • Principal Pal mistaking Moze for a boy.
  • Sadist Teacher:
    • Mr. Sweeney, parodied to some degree. In one episode, Ned asks Mr. Sweeney to explain how a science fair diorama should look. In response, Mr. Sweeney reaches behind his desk, takes out an elaborately detailed diorama explaining why Ned is likely to get an "F" on his science fair project and shows it to the whole class. But we do see him soften up towards the end, to the point where he doesn't rat Ned out for sneaking onto the field trip. He even admits to Ned that Ned was his favorite student and he enjoyed his antics. He still leaves him in that tree, though... Ned explains that teachers like Sweeney may seem sadistic, but they ultimately judge themselves based on your performance. If you failed, then they failed as a teacher.
    • Somewhat similarly with Mr. Crubbs. Though quick to reprimand the students for breaking the rules (and even petty about it when really angry), he has his reasons. As he explained to Ned, Crubbs originally wanted to be a police officer (vice specifically), but he sensed a futility to simply punishing bad people. Wanting to be able to really help people while they could still be reached, he went into education.
  • Samus Is a Girl: The weasel!
  • Scandalgate: In "Guide to: School Newspapers," the school newspaper reveals that the money supposed to replace the tiles has been spent on something else. The following day's headline: "Tile-Gate!"
  • Scary Librarian: Polk has a scary and crazy librarian. If students claimed they returned books but they aren't in the slots, she screeches "Not ACCORDI-ON to me!" while playing the accordion awfully.
  • Schizophrenic Difficulty: The spelling be had words ranging from cat to floccinaucinihilipilification with more reasonable words like engastrimyth and Kamikaze making up the majority.
  • School Newspaper News Hound:
    • Ned, in one episode (again!).
    • Also, the often forgotten character of Scoop.
  • School Play: An entire episode revolved around the school production of Romeo and Juliet. Though, instead of having Ned try and take the lead role, he schemes to get Cookie to play Romeo, since his kiss "won't steal Suzie," who was playing Juliet, from him. Moze, being the stage director, tries to stop all of Ned and Cookie's zany schemes. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Science Fair: Featured in a season 2 episode focusing on Ned building an exoskeleton, Moze trying to find something to eat, and Cookie trying to win back Vanessa after the events of "Guide to: Excuses."
  • Sdrawkcab Alias: In "Guide to: Tests," when Ned decides that, to pass the three tests he will have on the same day, he will have to become "the opposite of Ned Bigby." Gordy then asks "Den Ybgib?," and he goes with it. When he passes, he gets a G.E.E.K. membership card with the backwards name on it.
  • Secret Test: Principal Pal subjects the newly made principal Wright to one by remaining in his office despite not being principal anymore to test Wright to see if he could tell people things that may hurt their feelings.
    Dr. Wright: You're not the principal anymore, I'm the principal, and it hurts me to say this but you have to leave your office!
    Pal: Finally! But I must say, you took a lot longer than I hoped.
    Dr. Wright: Say what?
    Pal: Alistair, as principal you're going to have to say some tough things and hurt some feelings. But that's the job! And now, you're ready!
    • Cookie's tasks in his shyness seminar in "Guide to: Shyness" can be seen as this. Cookie makes the students do insane stunts that he has done in the past. The point of doing these was not to see if they could do them, but to get them to be able to speak out. It worked to give them "Cookie Confidence."
  • Self-Induced Allergic Reaction: Cookie tries to impress Vanessa's grandmother by eating walnut brownies (which she likes). Unfortunately, he is allergic to walnuts...
    Ned: But you're allergic to walnuts!
    Cookie: Maybe I outgrew it!
    (Gilligan Cut to Cookie's swollen face)
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Uttered almost word for word by Ned in "Guide to: Woodshop." Even before this, Ned and Moze seem to be mistaken for a couple a lot, such as in "Guide to: Yearbook," when they won class couple even though they weren't dating.
    Ned: I'm making a kitty mansion for my girlfriend. She loves kitties.
    Mr. Chopsaw: Jennifer loves kitties?
    Ned: What? No! Moze isn't my girlfriend!
    Mr. Chopsaw: Well, you two would make a good pair. Trust me, I know these things. Call it a *winks* gift.
  • Shoot the Messenger: Ned is asked to read "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants", he gets only half done so he spies on Missy's book club who was reading the book but chafed it to gossip. During his oral report, he repeats what Missy said unknowingly revealing that 4 characters in the same class were cheating on each other. After arguing with each other, they turn their anger on Ned for revealing their affairs to the whole class.
  • Shouldn't We Be in School Right Now?:
    • Sure they're in school, and sure, they go to class when the plot calls for it, but there are many examples where they are some how able to spend the entire day out of school and doing whatever they need to be doing for the topic of the class, and the teachers involved in the plot never mark them as skipping? (One instance is in "Guide to: Lost and Found," where Ned and Moze were fighting over a pair of sneakers in the Lost and Found—Ned wanted them, but Moze wanted to return them, and they had the whole day to themselves to deal with the problem, never showing to class once.)
    • In "Guide to: When You Like Someone Who is Seeing Someone Else," Ned spends over four hours of the school day waxing about his relationship with Moze to Gordy.
    • Amusingly semi-lampshaded when there's a dramatic moment in the hall, (hostage exchange, etc.—hey, it's that kind of show) a teacher or hall monitor will walk past, ask "Do you have hall passes?" and the action pauses while all the students hold up passes, then go right back to the drama.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Several to The Fairly OddParents! (which is appropriate considering Daran Norris, the voice of quite a few characters on Fairly Odd Parents, plays Gordy).
    • Two were made in "Guide to: The New Kid." In the end, a new kid from Britain shows up with a Hogwarts Gryffindor uniform, not to mention a brown bowl haircut and round glasses, and earlier than that:
      Teacher: Please welcome... (is handed a piece of paper from Cook) ...Lord Simon Nelson-Cook, The Duke of Hazzard.
    • Another episode has Ned's gross school lunch slowly moving off of the plate. It helps that both the film and the episode were directed by Savage Steve Holland.
    • Vice Principal Crubbs' whole character is a shout out to Miami Vice.
      • His character's motivation to being a vice principal is because it's the next best thing to being a "vice cop in Miami."
    • Many Star Wars examples as said before; some are a less obvious bonus ("I don't care if your locker is on the ice planet Hoth, you're still late!")
    • In "Guide to: Career Week," the show makes a blink-and-you'll-miss-it shout-out to Austin Powers.
      Crubs: *watches Ned run off* He's like a little mini-me! *puts his pinkie in his mouth, a la Dr. Evil.*
    • On the last day of school, everyone sings a song that's partly gibberish.
    • A circular saw from woodshop class that appears to be possessed and attempting to kill people is nicknamed Christine by the teacher.
    • In "Guide to: Extra Credit," Moze carves a volcano from mashed potatoes.
    • In "Guide to: Volunteering," Moze is stuck cleaning with Loomer and his crew, who are introduced using a Three Stooges-esque sting.
    • A number of times, they refer to Scooby-Doo. From Scooby-Dooby Doors to a You Meddling Kids in the episode "Guide to: Secrets." During the chase, Lisa, dressed in an orange sweater, gets knocked down and has to look for her glasses, which fell on the floor.
    • The ending of "Guide to: When You Like Someone Who Is Going Out With Someone Else" spoofs the end of An Officer and a Gentleman.
    • Cookie's superhero persona in the finale, the "Steel Eagle," seems to be a reference to SilverHawks, at least in name.
  • Sick Episode: "Guide to: Sick Days" is about a flu epidemic at school, with the nurse hunting down infectees to send them home. Ned has to avoid getting sick so he can stay after to meet a biker, Moze tries to get sick so she doesn't have to do a school project, and Cookie actually is sick but can't get caught because it'll ruin his perfect attendance record.
  • Similar Squad: Moze befriends a girl named Jennifer Tu who she has everything in common with. Jennifer Tu's best friends are Ted and Mookie, and yes, it seems like they act just like Ned and Cookie (only with their races and personalities inverted).
  • Single-Minded Twins: Nerdy oboe-playing Stacy and Tracy. Comically subverted/deconstructed in "Guide to: Shyness" in that Tracy is actually much more dependent than her sister and copies whoever she gets close to... leading to her taking on personas like "Troze," "Treth," "Trisa" and "Tred" throughout the episode.
  • Sitcom Character Archetypes:
  • Slapstick: None of the characters—male or female, major or minor—are above Amusing Injuries, awkward situations or embarrassing subplots, which is part of what makes all the characters work so well with the show's tone. What's more, the show avoids the use of this convention in other shows of its type by even including the various love interests in this, even for minor or one-off gags.
  • Sliding Scale of Shiny Versus Gritty: Not quite as shiny as contemporary and subsequent Disney and Dan Schneider equivalents, but pretty darn close.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: The other Jennifer in "Late Bus" is someone Moze turns out to have a lot in common with, but she's moving because one of her parents got a new job. Before leaving, she introduces Moze to a friend that has all the same interests: Suzie Crabgrass. As a result, Mose and Suzie put aside their past animosity and become friends for the remainder of the series.
  • Smart People Wear Glasses: Cookie. Somewhat justified, as said glasses come with cyber tech that allows him to run an entire operating system.
  • Sound-Effect Bleep: The referee's whistle was used as this to block out half of Moze's trash-talking in "Guide to: Bad Habits."
  • Speed Dating: Moze arranges this for Ned after Suzie moves away in "Guide to: Girls." Tip for girls: Telling a guy you only shower once a month is not attractive. Every girl he met had a flaw so cringeworthy (i.e. a horse-like laugh, shaving her neck, or having a man's voice) that Ned ultimately decides that the hottest one was a cross-dressed Cookie.
  • Special Guest: The show has a lot of great guest stars that have appeared from the show.
    • BMX Rider and Mat Hoffman appeared for one episode in the first two seasons.
    • Pre-Voice acting fame Nolan North appeared as an art dealer in Season 2. Later reappeared as an Art Class teacher of Ned.
    • Art Alexis of Creator/Everclear appeared in ''Guide to: Music Class" as the music instruction class teacher Mr. Gibson and his band was mentioned and would appear in the near end of the episode performing their song rockstar
    • Fabio Lanzoni appeared as himself in ''Guide to: Positive and Negative" as Dr. Xavier fantasized about him while reading romance novels that have his face on the covers and would later to appear at the mid of the episode helping out moze have a kiss with Faymen.
    • Alan Thicke appeared as Hal E. Burton in ''Guide to: School Newspaper
  • Spelling Bee: In "Guide to: Spelling Bees," the trio has to participate in one. Moze tries to avoid being the first one out so that she doesn't have to be the wordmaster and sit next to Mr.Gross. Unfortunately, she misspells her first word ("floccinaucinihilipilification"note ). Ned keeps coincidentally getting easy words... and then gets a really impossible one ("honorificabilitudinitatibus"note ). Cookie has to deal with a group of rival spellers trying to psych him out. He wins after spelling "victorious," but it takes Ned and everyone else pulling their pants down and showing their underwear for Cookie to remember how to spell it.
  • Spiritual Successor:
    • "Big Time Rush" is created by Scott Fellows, produced by many of the same people and remains in a similar vein of comedy, particularly having no Laugh Track, reusing the soundtrack, characters with Punny Names, Daran Norris as a janitor character, Carlie Casey as an Alpha Bitch, Hamilton Mitchell as an authority figure chasing down Norris's character, the rapid fire comedy, and interweaving relationships. This show itself can be considered one to "Saved by the Bell."
    • His latest series, 100 Things To Do Before High School, is basically a updated version of Ned's Declassified, with the focus on Moze (CJ) instead of Ned (Crispo).
  • Spit Take: Moze does one when Suzie says that she wants Ned to kiss her in "Guide to: Double Dates." Ned does one in "Guide to: Dismissal" in a flashback when Suzie asks him to move into his locker.
  • Spoofy-Doo: The episode "Secrets" is a whole shout-out to Scooby-Doo, squeezing practically every running gag on that show into its 11-minute runtime. This includes Ned pretending to be a ghost in Loomer's locker, a Scooby-Dooby Doors sequence with Loomer chasing Ned and Cookie around, Lisa doing the "Velma losing her glasses" bit (complete in an orange outfit), and Suzie saying "You Meddling Kids" at the end of the episode.
  • Springtime for Hitler: Ned's attempts at getting removed from the Class President ballot only succeed in getting everyone to like him. His attempts included: vandalizing the lockers (only to accidentally cover up a spot of black paint with a similar green that matches the lockers), throwing a dodgeball at Coach Dirga's head, subsequently knocking two teeth out and ends up getting endorsed for it, and his final attempt which involves a food fight in the cafeteria has him accidentally tossing his trash into the recycling bin, getting Seth—the most popular jock in school—to believe that Ned created a "new way to recycle" and thus everyone begins tossing their trash like they were basketballs. Needless to say, Ned wasn't happy.
  • Squashed Flat:
    • Happens to Cookie multiple times in "Guide to: Hallways" after getting run over by hoards of students.
    • Happens to Vice Principal Crubbs in "Guide to: Spring Fever."
  • Status Quo Is God: Often Zig-Zagged. For example, in "Guide to: Principals" the never-before-seen Principal Pal retires and the characters are scared that Vice Principal Crubbs will take over. So Moze tries to convince him not to retire. Rather than the plan working, Ned and Cookie discover the long-time character Mr. Wright was actually qualified for the job and encourage him to go for it. Mr. Wright secures the job as principal and Principal Pal later becomes social studies teacher after the old one retires too.
  • Stock Sound Effects: And how. It's one of the series staples, replacing the standard Laugh Track in any other sitcom.
  • Strangely Specific Horoscope: Cookie writes the horoscope for the school paper. When he sees that everyone does exactly as told, he begins to have fun with it and starts writing overly specific predictions.
  • Student Council President: Martin Qwerly, though technically, he was Vice President and the weasel was president. Also, he only ever did one thing, which was changing school policy to allow for students to go outside after they finished eating lunch — more Truth in Television than Absurdly Powerful Student Council.
  • Stuffed into a Locker: Coconut Head, of course, in "Guide to: Vice Principals." He's pulled right out of Loomer's enormous locker.
  • Summer School Sucks: In "Tutors" Ned discovers that his marks aren't on track for him to pass Science, which will land him in Summer School unless he aces the final exam. As such he spends the episode trying to find a tutor to prepare him. After several failures, the science teacher Mr. Sweeny volunteers to tutor him himself, simply because in his words "summer is no time for school."
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Played for Laughs in "Guide To: Lunch". Cookie is told he's gonna get crushed, mashed, creamed, and black-eyed so he somehow acquires a suit of armor ad wears it to school the next day. The armor just makes it hard for him to move and he gets trampled in between classes
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: The first season had the Alpha Bitch character as Bitsy (more of an Academic Alpha Bitch) for a few episodes. Later seasons she is nowhere to be seen and the character type was replaced by the similarly named Missy (who was just a regular Alpha Bitch), complete with similar looking actresses.

  • Take a Third Option: "Gross Biology Dissection" boxes Ned into having to choose between a friend and his crush, as Moze is all in on dissecting a frog and Suzie thinks it's a cruel practice. Throw in the extra complication of anyone who refuses to do the dissection getting a failing grade, which Ned just can't afford. When Cookie mentions having previously used a computer program to simulate dissection, Ned thinks to suggest the idea to Sweeny so that those opposed to dissecting the real thing can still get a passing grade.
  • Take Our Word for It: The nude lady portrait that Ned inadvertently sketches in "Guide to: Art Class" is never actually shown.
  • Talking to Themself: Albert Wormheimer, whose only friend is his voice of reason.
  • Teachers Out of School:
    • Cookie once led an after-hours school tour. The "scariest" part of his tour was the part where he showed what the teachers do after-hours: they have their own rap group!
    • Another Cookie example. When Cookie misses the bus and threatens his perfect attendance record, he teams up with his math teacher, who is roller skating to school, in order to show up on time.
  • The Teaser: Every episode (except "Guide to: Talent Shows") has a short one where Ned introduces the topic, with the title card coming once the main problem of the episode is set up.
  • Tempting Fate: Often used before the characters suffer some more.
  • That Poor Cat: Every single time something crashes, whether it's a scooter or a pencil someone threw, to the point of being a Running Gag.
  • This Is No Time for Knitting: In one episode, Ned has trouble concentrating on a project he has to complete in 3 days, and has a bet going on with Moze on whether or not he'll actually finish it. She catches him goofing off time and time again with such activities as constructing Popsicle-stick ninjas, practicing origami and selling sushi from a booth. It turns out the subject he chose for the project was on Japanese culture, and (surprise, surprise), he wins the bet.
  • Themed Party: The big dance at the end of season 1 had an "Around the World" theme; every area in the school was designed to look like a different part of the world.
  • Theme Naming:
    • Mr. Chopsaw the woodshop teacher, Billy Loomer the (looming) bully, Missy Meany the mean girl, Mr. Sweeney the Sadist Teacher, and iTeacher who teaches from a Mac computer.
    • There's also a The Faceless who is constantly surrounded by a swarm of admiring girls... named Doug Secksay.
  • Three Shorts: Two shorts, actually, sometimes following a theme, such as "Guide to: Boys" and "Guide to: Girls," and usually with continuity between them.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Cookie's money-making schemes occasionally work such as his Cookie Confidence seminar or his After School Tour.
  • Token Minority Couple: Cookie's love interests were black (Martika and Vanessa), Hispanic (Ms. Enstile) and Asian (Evelyn). The only white one was Lisa.
  • Token Trio: Averted; Ned, Moze, and Cookie fit the demographic sampling perfectly, but they are the main characters and actually very well fleshed out (i.e. not "token").
  • Tomboy: Moze. She's tough, aggressive, athletic, and One of the Boys. She also hates wearing dresses. And she loves woodshop (even though she only got put in the class by accident) and expressed an interest into the male-dominated field of architecture.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Moze is very aggressive and short-tempered, likes beating people up (she's been beating Ned up since Pre-K), loves woodshop, couldn't care less about most girly things like boy bands and gossip, hates skirts and had to be dared to wear a pretty dress, while Suzie loves kitties and stuffed animals, is generally gentle and caring (except for in Season 1, when she was the Alpha Bitch and therefore was prissy and self-centered), is very against violence, and frequently dons skirts. However, both are athletic, though Moze seems to care about sports more than Suzie, who initially only tried out for the volleyball team because Moze suggested that she wouldn't be able to make the team if she tried.
  • Tomboyish Nickname: "Moze" is not a very girly nickname.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Moze. She may be tough-as-nails, aggressive, Passionate Sports Girl, and One of the Boys, but she still has some girly interests, such as shopping and going to the spa. She also has a crush on a cute boy of her school and wants to find female friends because she's tired of being always One of the Boys.
  • Toon Physics: Sometimes, despite this being a Live-Action show.
  • Too Old to Trick-or-Treat: In "Guide To Halloween," Ned lists the "phases" of Halloween, with Trick-Or-Treating being "Phase 1." When Cookie asks to go trick-or-treating, Ned tells him they're in "Phase 2" now and are too old to go out and get candy. However, by the end of the episode, Cookie feels nostalgic for past Halloweens, so Ned admits that it's always okay to go back down to "Phase 1." They wind up going trick-or-treating together.
  • Too Upset to Create: In "Guide to: Boys", Ned is left depressed after Suzy left the school, despite it only being temporary. His emotional state is so bad that he's unable to work on the Guide, falling into a deep state of writer's block, until his friends snap him out of it.
  • Toyota Tripwire: Locker-door version.
  • Transfer Student Uniforms: Averted (a neat trick since the school doesn't have a uniform). In "Guide to: Revenge," a girl from a rival school joins the volleyball team to sabotage it; she wears Polk team warm-ups throughout the episode and a fake blond wig.
  • Trash Talk: Moze's bad habit in "Guide to: Bad Habits" is this.
  • Troperiffic: Playing with many School Tropes makes it interesting.
  • True Art Is Incomprehensible: Two different episodes have subplots about Ned and Cookie respectively making art that they didn't intend. Ned paints a bunch of squiggly lines that look like an orange naked lady, and Cookie ties together a bunch of milk bottles that somehow ends up almost selling for ten thousand dollars before it's ripped apart by a bunch of kids looking for recyclable materials.
  • Tsundere:
    • Evelyn Kwong. FULL STOP. She switches between her tsundere and deredere modes when dealing with Cookie in milliseconds.
    • Suzie has some Type B tsundere-ish quirks towards Ned.
    • Moze might qualify as a Type A, being friendly but aggressive.
  • Twitchy Eye: Moze gets this in "Guide to: Asking Someone Out" when her plans to ask Seth out keep failing.
  • Two Guys and a Girl:
    • The main trio of Ned, Cookie, and Moze. Another like trio is the Killer Bees, a group of expert spellers who bully people by taunting them and spelling at them.
    • A Bizarro version seen in "Guide to: Late Bus" with Jennifer Tu talking to Moze (Jennifer Mosely) and showing her two friends of hers, Ted and Mookie, a white nerd and black goofball—opposite of Ned and Cookie. The two Jennifers are very alike, but Jennifer Tu is friends with Suzie, a girl Moze shares a mutual dislike with. What is interesting is that this episode is where Moze and Suzie do begin to warm up to each other.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: Each episode has two or three plots, one focusing on each of the main characters.
  • Two-Teacher School: Magnificently averted. There are almost as many teacher regulars as there are student regulars. And they all teach a particular class subject. In addition, they made it a point of explaining that Mr. Sweeney took up 8th grade science to justify why they were still taking classes from him, rather than just sticking around through all the grades.
  • Two-Timer Date: In "Guide to: Double Dating," Cookie asks Vanessa to Around the World Night, but she seems to reject him, so, when Lisa Zemo (with Claire Sawyer, Future Lawyer to help negotiate) asks him to go with her, he agrees. But then Vanessa returns and says that she changed her mind, so yes, she would go with Cookie. Cookie spends the entire episode trying to spend time with both dates without letting the other know about it. This goes about as well as you would think.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: Attempted by Vice Principal Crubbs, when he applies to be principal in "Guide to: Principals" and scares off all the competition, but defied by Ned, Moze, and Cookie when they get Mr. Wright to become principal, instead.
  • Uncanny Valley Girl: In "Guide to: Dares," Moze is being dared to wear a flowery dress for a day and meets three girls named May, June and Julie that look like Stepford Smilers, and she suspects they're actually robots. Subverted in that everything's a Contrived Coincidence: the three just don't like to swim, Julie is interested in electronics, June just has a facial tic and May happens to have a prosthetic arm.
  • Unpredictable Results: The guide comes with the disclaimer "Your results may vary."
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: The teachers are often unperturbed by the ongoings at the school that range from weird (like the boys taking off their pants in the middle of the auditorium) to flat out bizarre (like the library exploding)
  • Unwanted Harem: Ned manages to attract the affections no less than six girls over the course of the series, four of whom were Abhorrent Admirers in some way or another and the last of which is Mose, whom he at first wouldn't even think about getting together with. "The Huge Crew" is the most common, though later episodes had Missy be a recurring example as well. The last was in a one shot.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Ned and Moze in the last season. About as blatant you can get on a Nickelodeon show. (Of course they're middle schoolers so it wouldn't be sexual, but you get the idea.)
  • Unrequited Love Switcheroo: Cookie and Lisa; Lisa was his Abhorrent Admirer in the first two seasons, but after becoming hot in season 3, he started pining for her and she hardly had the time to notice him.
  • An Extra Credit volcano was taken up to eleven with the use of concrete, wood framing, knocking out part of the second floor, rerouting some heat vents into the base, and a few sticks of dynamite.
  • Vandalism Backfire: In one episode Ned was nominated for Class President, but didn't want it, so he starts trying to do things that will not get him votes, including spray painting lockers. Unfortunately in order to keep from having to clean the graffiti up, Gordy (the janitor) gave him a spray can that was the same color as the locker, making it look like he was deliberately painting the lockers.
  • The Voiceless:
    • Buzz, one of Loomer's sidekicks—except for one instance in "Guide to: Volunteering," which was quickly Lampshaded by Moze.
    Buzz: (referring to Moze's seconds-before "The Reason You Suck" Speech) She's right.
    (cue in-universe moment of shock; Moze is almost immediately back in-frame)
    Moze: Did he just say something? He never says something!
    Crony: So that's what he sounds like!
    Loomer: Dude, you haven't said anything since we've known you.
    Buzz: Everything's been fine up to this point.
    • Annie from Guide to: Shyness was a girl so shy that she didn't talk. She does say one thing at the end as a sign that she has broken through that aspect of her shyness.
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: Literally iTeacher, who teaches her students via a computer webcam.
  • Wacky Guy: Cookie and Gordy.
  • Wacky Homeroom: Calling the students and teachers "quirky" wouldn't even begin to cover it.
  • Wastebasket Ball: "Guide to: Elections" has Ned trying to get himself out of the running for Class President. His last attempt to do is to attempt a food tossing his trash into the recycling. Seth thinks Ned thought of a "cool way to recycle" and convinces everyone to toss their recyclables like Ned did.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Invoked when Ned gets roped into a weightlifting competition with Loomer, the bully who's six inches taller and more muscular than him. The gym coach then trains Ned explaining that raw strength means little if you don't have proper form and technique, Loomer flings himself around with a bad stance and unbalanced barbell grip while Ned centers himself and gets under the weights.
  • Weasel Mascot: Gordy's arch enemy—think Tom and Jerry or Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner.
  • Webcomic Time: Sort of. The show was ReTooled after the first nine episodes; after that (and a year-long hiatus), the "new" first and second seasons each covered one semester, while the third season covered all of eighth grade and first aired roughly concurrently with the 2006-07 school year.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Many characters including Bitsy Johnson note , the Huge Crew, Timmy Toot Toot (who made just one Season 3 appearance in the episode where Ned farts), Doug Secksay and the Killer Bees among others. And that's not counting the many one-shot and guest characters.
  • Where's the Fun in That?: A variant of this became a Running Gag whenever Gordy does his Zany Scheme and someone (usually Ned) asked him the reason for it while Stating the Simple Solution:
    Gordy: Because, this is more fun.
  • Wild Card Excuse: Buzz's reason for not speaking for most of the series being that "everything's been fine up to this point."
  • Wildlife Commentary Spoof: Gordy does this in "Guide to: Bullies" when talking about bullies and their victims, describing them as predator and prey, respectively. Lampshaded at the end of the episode, when Gordy tries to narrate after the Peer Mediation Program is set up, and Ned tells him to shut up.
  • Wimp Fight: In "Guide to: Best Friends," Ned and Cookie had a spat over a "spelling bee" clique taking Cookie away from Ned and splitting them up. They even had fight announcers trying to do a play-by-play but they quickly realized that the fight consisted of mostly Ass-Kicking Poses and nothing else.
  • World of Ham: And how!
  • World of Pun: "Guide to: Vampires, Ghosts, Werewolves, and Zombies'' takes place in an alternate, Halloween-type world, with things like "Summer Ghoul" and "Creatures Lounge."
  • Wrong Bathroom Incident: A Running Gag throughout the series involves Ned accidentally running into the girl's restroom to deal with a Potty Emergency. He gets mocked by the school bullies about it, to the point that they put up signs that read "GIRLS and Ned."
  • Yandere: Evelyn and Missy, being extremely aggressive about their crushes (Cookie and Ned, respectively) liking them and nobody else.
  • You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious: Inverted in "Guide to: Nicknames." Moze spends the entire episode trying to get her friends to call her by her real name, Jennifer. Ned is the most reluctant, but when he finally relents, Moze is nearly run over by Gordy's segway since she only moves out of the way when Ned gets her attention by calling her "Moze" out of habit.
  • You Go, Girl!:
    • Gender-inverted and parodied in "Guide to: Tryouts" with Cookie's quest to join the cheerleading squad, and getting laughed off because he's a boy. He sues them, and gets a tryout, leading to this quote, summing up the tryout.
    Claire Sawyer (Future Lawyer): You can't be denied because you're a boy. You can, however, be denied because you stink.
    • Averted in "Guide to: School Records," with Moze's joining the boy's wrestling team. Moze doesn't join the team to prove that she (and all girls) can; she joins so that she can win a tourney to get enough records to set the record for having the most athletic records in Polk history. Additionally, there isn't any real opposition to her joining the team.
  • Zany Scheme: Ned comes up with these sometimes. Lampshaded by Moze:
    Moze: You know how you and Cookie come up with these plans that I say are crazy but they always work out in the end?
    Ned: I'm familiar with the process.


Video Example(s):


Ned's Declassifed [Plan To Claim Sneakers Backfires]

Scene from "Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide" - Ep 39B "Lost and Found". Ned finds a pair of sneakers signed by NBA Star, Carmelo Anthony, in the lost and found and wants to claim them for himself. Moze keeps preventing him due not wanting someone to lose their valuables due to a past experience. So Ned comes up with a plan to stop her... except it hits a hitch.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (16 votes)

Example of:

Main / DidntThinkThisThrough

Media sources: